NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant did not mince phrases after a disappointing 120-116 loss to a severely undermanned LA Clippers squad on Saturday evening. He was pissed off by not solely the truth that the Nets dropped their second straight recreation, however that they did so towards a crew he thought Brooklyn took without any consideration.
“We simply relaxed an excessive amount of,” Durant stated. “We rise up 10, miss a layup or flip the ball over, they usually get a quick break, hand over a 3, straight-line drive — like coach [Steve Nash] stated, we did not need to win this recreation. We got here in right here with a f—ed-up perspective. Considering we have been simply going to stroll right into a W.”
The Nets allowed a Clippers crew — enjoying with out Paul George (UCL tear in proper elbow), Kawhi Leonard (proper ACL rehab), Nicolas Batum (proper ankle sprain) and a wide range of different gamers who’re coping with a mix of accidents and well being and security protocols, in addition to coach Tyronn Lue (well being and security protocols) — to hold round all evening. Each Durant and Nash acknowledged the crew’s depth wasn’t the place it wanted to be from the beginning.
“It is pure when a crew is lacking so many gamers,” Durant stated when requested why the Nets’ perspective was the best way it was. “They are going via a lot over there. [We] relaxed. You do not assume you could possibly lose an NBA recreation like this. They’re lacking what number of guys? They’re enjoying guys which are up from the G League. Xavier Moon got here in and hit some photographs for them. Keon Johnson, James Ennis — all of them made an affect I felt on the sport, and I feel we got here in too chill to begin.”
The Nets added to their very own points by turning the ball over 15 occasions — however it was the dearth of consideration to element, particularly on the defensive finish, that did Nash’s group in.
“I simply assume [giving up] 71 factors within the second half is unacceptable,” Nash stated. “We simply by no means actually had the care issue. Turned it up, we had an opportunity up 9, 10, 11 within the third and fourth at completely different occasions and simply took our foot off the gasoline and received what we deserved, actually. All these guys in there, I feel they realize it, they’re disillusioned after all, however it’s a disappointment for all of us — that was clearly a really winnable recreation that we let get away.”
Nash stated his crew must take the efficiency “to coronary heart and rebuild” shifting ahead. Nets guard James Harden stated he did not know why the “care issue” wasn’t there for a Brooklyn crew that’s now 23-11 on the season.
“I am unsure,” Harden stated. “That is a superb query. I do not know. Clearly, I knew we needed to win — it is simply, are we keen to do the issues to safe the win or to do what we’re alleged to do? And I do not assume we did that from the start of the sport and we give a crew confidence and allow them to cling within the recreation for 4 quarters and stuff like this occurs.”
Durant, who was as outwardly pissed off as he has been shortly, is hoping his crew will be taught from its errors after such a poor efficiency.
“Hopefully a loss like this, it is in your mind till [Sunday],” Durant stated. “Go on the market and perceive what your job is as a person and how one can be the perfect at that job and how one can convey it to the collective. It is at all times in regards to the collective. So if you happen to ain’t feeling like s— after this recreation, then you definitely received to look your self within the mirror.”
Nash famous that each gamers and coaches wanted to talk up within the wake of that form of loss.
“Clearly I inform them that may’t be us,” Nash stated. “And that may’t be the extent that we’re gonna settle for. And that we’ve got to resolve what’s acceptable for us and what’s not.”
Durant echoed an analogous sentiment when requested how assured he was that the Nets would have the ability to bounce again after this sort of loss to a a lot weaker opponent.
“We’ll proceed to get our ass kicked if we do not strategy the sport within the correct means,” Durant stated. “It is in regards to the group. It is about how we will come out right here and be the perfect that we will every possession. Tonight wasn’t a kind of nights.”