If nothing else, the Nets will play hard Saturday. Here was coach Lawrence Frank's take after the Nets journeyed to Boston Wednesday and were humiliated by the Celtics.
"It just shows you just how hard they work. When talent works hard like that and you can't stay at the level you get embarrassed," Frank said after the Celtics thumped the Nets, 118-86. "They're a talented team that outworked us and as a result, we got embarrassed."
So they'll try to eliminate more embarrassment back in New Jersey for the Nets' only home afternoon game of the season. The Nets, virtually to a man, expressed their disappointment for a lay-down job against the world champs. Boston, already up 10, opened the second half with seven straight points and the Nets never threatened.
The Nets seek to continue their recent prosperity at home where they have won 4-of-5, having lost Thursday to Portland. And there is a little added importance because it is the final game before the Nets head out for a four-game Western road trip that starts in New Orleans and continues in San Antonio before finishing in Memphis and Oklahoma City. The Nets already have beaten the Grizzlies and Thunder in New Jersey.
Wednesday in Boston, Paul Pierce shot 5-of-5 on three-pointers in the third quarter when he scored 18 of his 22 points -- the Nets outscored him by one in the third. They never recovered and Boston cruised through garbage time. Vince Carter had his second worst shooting game of the season, going 1-of-10 and Brook Lopez started a dreadful 1-of-11.
BLAZERS 105, NETS 99: The Nets' defense went south in the fourth quarter when Portland shot 68 percent. The Nets, who blew an 11-point third quarter lead, fell behind and then got into the dangerous habit of swapping baskets. Jerryd Bayless and Travis Outlaw combined for 20 of Portland's 37 fourth quarter points and Brandon Roy finished with a game-high 29. The Nets, who shot 51 percent for the game and 55 percent in the fourth quarter, got 23 points from Devin Harris, 17 from Brook Lopez, 14 from Bobby Simmons, 13 from Vince Carter and little defense from anybody. The loss ended the Nets' four-game home winning streak.
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