Brooklyn Nets: Road trip proves too tough of a test

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 21: Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 21: Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

After winning the first game of its road trip, the Brooklyn Nets dropped three straight against the league’s elite.

The Brooklyn Nets hoped their win against the Detroit Pistons last Sunday would set the tone for the remainder of their road trip.

In that game, Spencer Dinwiddie lifted the Nets to a thrilling 101-100 victory on the heels of his go-ahead bucket with 0.9 seconds left.

Brooklyn would quickly get a taste of their own medicine, though.

On Tuesday, Russell Westbrook drained a contested layup with 3.3 seconds remaining, handing the Nets a crushing 109-108 loss.

Brooklyn led by as much as 15 points in the third quarter but failed to close in the game’s weighing moments.

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Then Friday, the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Nets 116-91 on the strength of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 41 points.

To make matters worse, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson left the contest with a right groin strain.

With Hollis-Jefferson, D’Angelo Russell, and Caris LeVert ruled out Saturday, Brooklyn traveled to Minnesota in the second half of a back-to-back.

The Timberwolves led from start to finish, cruising to a 111-97 victory behind Jimmy Butler’s 21 points.

Frustrations boiled over in the fourth quarter when Nets’ coach Kenny Atkinson was ejected after arguing a no-call.

Sure, Brooklyn has played some of the NBA’s best teams over the last two weeks.

But what’s went wrong for the Nets over this recent three-game skid?

For starters, the team is turning the ball over at an alarming rate.

Against the Thunder, Bucks, and Timberwolves, Brooklyn committed 12, 14, and 15 turnovers, respectively.

This season, the Nets are averaging 15.7 turnovers per game, tied for fourth worst in the league.

Gifting elite teams extra possessions, especially on the road, is not a recipe for success.

Brooklyn has also struggled from three-point land of late, shooting just 35 percent from beyond the arch during this road trip.

Looking ahead, the next two weeks are crucial for the Nets.

General manager Sean Marks will most likely look to be a seller at the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

As that date approaches, it’s important to raise the stock of the team’s veterans.

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The Brooklyn Nets will look to snap their three-game losing streak Tuesday, as they return to New York to play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.