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Brook Lopez won’t complain about touchy subject: Getting shots

Brooklyn Nets' Brook Lopez (11) drives past Golden

Brooklyn Nets' Brook Lopez (11) drives past Golden State Warriors' JaVale McGee (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Photo Credit: AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

SAN FRANCISCO — It doesn’t happen often, but Brook Lopez was at his worst on offense when the Nets needed his production the most in a 112-95 loss Saturday night at Golden State, where the Warriors were without injured Kevin Durant to help defend Lopez. As he always does, Lopez took responsibility for his play rather than question whether he should have gotten more touches.

Lopez missed all five shots he took in a scoreless first half and finished with only nine points and 3-for-13 shooting. Asked if he saw the ball enough early, he said: “I think our team did a very good job trusting in one another and moving the ball throughout our motion offense. We stayed within our offense’s principles and we did a great job sharing it.”

The Nets often feed Lopez early to get him going, but that didn’t happen against the Durant-less Warriors. Asked if he got the ball in the right spots, Lopez again deflected the question. “More than spots, I’m more disappointed in myself,” he said after the Nets’ 16th loss in a row. “I don’t think I did a good job offensively tonight at all. I turned the ball over a lot. I didn’t make shots I should have made. It just felt like a one-off night for me. I definitely have to do better next game.”

While Lopez sidestepped the issue publicly, point guard Jeremy Lin made it clear that he and the Nets’ big man discussed the topic during the game. “Yeah, that’s something that we already talked about,” Lin said of Lopez’s touches. “He knows that, as his point guard, he can always come to me any time he needs to.

“We were talking, even through the course of the game in the third quarter and fourth quarter, about ways to get him touches. There is definitely a balancing act, and we’ll figure it out. We had it going before I got hurt, and I just need to get back to that.”

The “balancing act” Lin referenced is between the need to get Lopez post touches or pick-and-roll action and the preference of coach Kenny Atkinson to see the ball hum in the motion offense. The Nets had a day off Sunday but have Monday and Tuesday to practice before playing Wednesday night at Sacramento.

“We barely get time to practice, so this is going to be really big for us to get back to our fundamentals, our principles,” Lin said. “If we do it right, it can be somewhat of a turning point in terms of turning things around and getting headed in the right direction.”

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