In what has become typical for them lately, the Nets fell victims to yet another fourth-quarter collapse against the Knicks on Tuesday night, further evidence of the team’s continuing struggle to complete a full 48-minute game.
Brooklyn has given up the lead in the closing quarter in four of its last five games, including blowing a 15-point lead to the Clippers last Sunday.
In Tuesday’s 108-103 loss, the Nets had a nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but second-chance points courtesy of the five offensive rebounds grabbed by the Knicks helped to bury the Nets in the closing minutes.
“If I was to point to one thing, it was [five] offensive rebounds that they had in the fourth,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said in an effort to make sense of the fourth-quarter madness.
“I think that the biggest thing for me is their ability to get second-chance points, puts more pressure on you to deliver on the other end. I thought overall, the shots that we did get, were shots that we made throughout the course of the night.
“Unfortunately, we went on a little cold streak in the fourth. But a big part of that was their ability to put pressure on us and [their] offensive rebounding.”
“Yeah that’s part of it,” Mikal Bridges said. “You can’t give up offensive rebounds, especially in the fourth, crucial time,” he said. “So it definitely could be better on that end; but yeah, that’s definitely you know, part of it.”
In two of those four games, the Nets were outrebounded on the offensive glass.
The Nets have kept a positive mindset despite dropping their 11th game in the last 13. Bridges said they have to find a better way to “handle adversity” as other teams make a run.
“We had it earlier in the year, won some games towards [the] end, but kind of lost that. It’s tough when you keep losing at the end, you know? It puts your confidence down,” he said. “So we just got to keep sticking together. We’re going to be in those positions a lot. Just got to be ready.”
Cam Johnson has been listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Timberwolves with a left shoulder contusion.
He snapped out of his slump with 19 points Tuesday, shooting 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Day’Ron Sharpe (left knee hyperextension), Ben Simmons (left lower back nerve impingement) and Dariq Whitehead (left shin stress reaction) will be out on Thursday.