The Brooklyn Nets lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 108-98 on Monday night at Barclays Center, handing the Blazers their seventh straight victory.
The Nets scored on 19 of their first 20 possessions en route to a 40-point opening quarter, but things soon cooled off after Portland’s defense settled in.
“I thought it was a testament to our guys as far as how they competed,” said Portland head coach Terry Stotts. “They never lost confidence, they kept competing and kept chipping away at it. When you have that belief that you can do something it makes it easier.”
For Portland, Wesley Matthews netted 24 points in the win, while Damian Lillard contributed 19 points and nine assists and Mo Williams added 12 points off the bench.
“It never felt like we were out of the game,” said Matthews. “They were on a roll and we weren’t getting any stops, we never felt out of the game.”
Portland trailed 63-56 at halftime before assuming control midway through the third quarter. Matthews tied the score at 69-69 with a driving layup and Aldridge hit a jumper moments later to put the Blazers in front.
In the fourth quarter, Mo Williams’ floater in the lane with four seconds left had Portland’s lead at eight points heading into the final frame. Portland quickly pushed its lead to double figures and kept it until Paul Pierce hit a layup making it 105-96 but with 1:03 left in the game the Nets never recovered.
Following the game, the Nets, who fall to 3-7 on the season, held a players-only meeting. According to the NY Post, guard Joe Johnson spoke about the private huddle, stating,
“Just talking about the game, and what we’ve got to figure out…We’ve just got to get some chemistry, because when we get stagnant to where we can’t get a bucket, we have to have something we can go to and we’ve just got to figure it out.”