NBA Basketball

Nets hope to cure recent ills with visit from Rockets

On Monday, the Rockets were the cure for what was ailing the New York Knicks, who blew out of their recent rough patch by blowing out Houston.

The scuffling Brooklyn Nets are also looking for a similar outcome Wednesday night when they host the worst team in the Western Conference.

Brooklyn (40-35) could take the floor back in the play-in tournament, if the Miami Heat lose in Toronto on Tuesday. The Nets also will attempt to stop a four-game home losing streak.

Brooklyn is in this position because it was unable to sustain a hot streak earlier this month. The Nets won five of six -- including a rout in Houston -- from March 3-12 but are 1-6 in their past seven games.

The Nets have faced double-digit deficits in each of those games, including Sunday when they were outplayed for the final 30-plus minutes of a 119-106 loss in Orlando. That loss came on the second night of a back-to-back; Brooklyn stormed back from a 14-point deficit in the first half for a dominating 129-100 win in Miami on Saturday.

"Tough back-to-back to use," Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said. "A lot of learning lessons coming out of this. It's a tough one. We come off a good win and the message to the guys is we are going to have to earn single game we get. No one is going to give it to us. We have to go get it."

The only Net to have anything against Orlando was Mikal Bridges, whose 44 points were one shy of his career-high set Feb. 15 at home versus Miami. While Bridges shot 13 of 22, Brooklyn's other four starters of Spencer Dinwiddie, Nic Claxton, Cameron Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith were a combined 9-for-35.

Dinwiddie was held to two points on 0-of-11 shooting vs. the Magic and went 4-for-22 from the floor combined over the weekend.

Houston (18-58) heads to Brooklyn on a six-game losing streak. The Rockets allowed at least 130 points for the third time in their latest skid and for the 14th time overall in a 137-115 loss at the Knicks.

Houston allowed the Knicks to shoot 58.1 percent and it marked their second-highest opposing field goal percentage of the season. It also was the 17th time the Rockets allowed an opponent to shoot at least 50 percent.

"Our energy fell off in the second half," Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. "I could see guys were getting tired. I could see it in their body language. But, that is the NBA. We were hyped up at the beginning of the game, flying around, doing some really good stuff. Then I think the back-to-back did catch up to us."

The Rockets also continued to falter behind the 3-point line, as their 7-of-26 showing followed a 6-for-25 performance Sunday in Cleveland. Jalen Green produced his 14th 30-point game of the season Sunday but was held to 19 on 4-of-11 shooting vs. the Knicks.

Kevin Porter Jr. led the Rockets with 26 points against the Knicks, his fifth 20-point showing in his past eight contests.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 28, 2023

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