Nets looking for answers after second straight loss

Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets controls the

Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets controls the ball against the Boston Celtics. (Nov. 15, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Inside a locker room that had a distinct melancholy aura, they searched for answers, trying to explain how they let another one spiral out of control.

The Nets have made a bad habit of squandering leads after halftime and have been particularly sluggish in the third quarter. That flaw in their game again had them scratching their heads after Wednesday night's 102-93 loss to the Warriors.

"I think we get complacent at times," a dejected Deron Williams said after the Nets' second straight loss on the heels of their five-game winning streak, which sent them home with a 1-2 mark on their swing through California. "We get up, and we see that lead, and we kind of get greedy and we think we can kind of just do it by ourselves instead of just doing what made us successful in that first little stretch."

A closer look at their quarter breakdown through Tuesday's action further underscores the Nets' third-quarter problems.

Their offensive rating, which calculates the number of points they'd score per 100 possessions, sat at 83.6. That ranked dead last. Their defensive rating of 107.2 ranked 28th and their net rating -- the point differential per 100 possessions -- of minus 23.6 also puts them at the bottom of the league.

Those numbers certainly didn't improve Wednesday when Golden State outscored them 33-20 in the third, raising those issues again.

"Honestly, I can't put my finger on it," Joe Johnson said. "But it's like we are not getting up and down the floor, especially defensively. We can't get stops and get out and run. So we are always taking the ball out, walking it up the court and not really getting into transition like we normally do.

"Those are the things we have to work on as players, getting out there and getting loose and having a mind-set that we have to get stops first before we can even think about scoring. That's probably one of the main things that we have to get down and get together."

Williams has a simple solution.

"We've just got to play better. I've got to play better," he said. "I played like crap [Wednesday], so a lot of it is my fault, especially in the second half, when I wasn't relevant. I don't know if it's mental. We're still learning, but I don't know how long we can use that excuse. We've just got to do a better job.

"When we get up, rather than blowing the lead, we've got to push that lead or keep that lead. We can't just give it all back, especially in one big bang."

The Nets certainly can't do that Friday night at the Barclays Center against the Clippers (8-3) or they might get run out of their own building.

"They are one of the hottest teams in the NBA," Williams said. "I've been watching them playing good basketball. They are one of the deepest teams in the NBA. It seems like when that second unit gets in, they are as good as the first unit. We have to be ready to play and bounce back."

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