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Nets trying to overcome third-quarter issues

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. Credit: AP / Morry Gash

MILWAUKEE — Poor third-quarter performances have haunted the Nets all season, but after they fell behind by 16 points in the third period Saturday night against the Bucks, Sean Kilpatrick led a 22-8 run that cut the deficit to two and gave the Nets a chance in a game they eventually lost, 112-103.

Coach Kenny Atkinson has addressed the problem in the past but didn’t say anything to his players Saturday night. “Well, it definitely wasn’t anything the coach did,” Atkinson said of the Nets’ big run. “That was players playing well. We didn’t change anything. We kept our rotation, and guys came out with focus.”

Kilpatrick and Brook Lopez said the players were highly conscious of the problem and made an effort to get back on the court early to warm up properly and come out aggressively. “It was just making sure everybody was really just warming up the proper way,” Kilpatrick said. “We get lax going to the third quarter as if we’re just chilling in the layup line. That’s not going to help us if we stay cold going to the third and [the opponent] comes out warm. That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Details of offer sheet

According to, the Nets’ four-year offer sheet worth $37 million for Rockets restricted free-agent forward Donatas Motiejunas is front-loaded, but in in a team-friendly way. Motiejunas receives $5 million upon signing and the team must decide by Jan. 10 whether it will pay him another $3.5 million for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. On March 1, the team must pick up a $9-million option for the 2017-18 season. The final two years are non-guaranteed, with the team having until July 7 in each of those years to decide to pick up that year’s option. All four years include $1 million in likely bonuses and $500,000 in more unlikely bonuses.

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