|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CT22:00 , January 6, 2020
Amway Center, Orlando, Florida Attendance: 15,008
Nets seeking a strong finish against Magic
Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
- The Nets and Magic meet for the first time this season after Brooklyn took two of three in the 2018-19 series. The Nets lost, 102-89, in their last trip to Orlando on February 2, after averaging 113.4 points in their previous five games there.
- The Nets are fourth in the NBA in points in the paint at 50.7 per game despite averaging 39.6 during a five-game skid. The Magic are fifth in opponents' points in the paint per game at 43.5, and have limited each of their last three opponents and six of their last eight to 38 points or fewer in the paint.
- The Nets allowed an opponent season-high 38 fourth-quarter points on 12-of-20 shooting in Saturday's 121-102 loss to the Raptors. Brooklyn is allowing an average of 32.3 points in the fourth in its last three games after permitting an average of 16.3 in the fourth in its previous three contests.
- Spencer Dinwiddie was 9-of-12 from the foul line on Saturday, and has now made 67 free throws in his last eight games. The last Net with at least that many free throws over an eight-game stretch in a single season was Devin Harris, who had 69 from March 1-15, 2009.
- The Magic, who are averaging a league-low 12.6 turnovers, had 10 giveaways in Saturday's 109-96 loss to the Jazz and have had 11 or fewer in each of their last five games. Since 1991-92, Orlando has had only one other single-season five-game stretch with 11 turnovers or fewer -- December 9-16, 2016.
- Nikola Vucevic had a team-high 13 rebounds Saturday, while Aaron Gordon grabbed 12 boards -- the 12th game this season Orlando had two or more players each with 10 or more rebounds. Only Houston (18), Brooklyn (17) and Cleveland (15) have had more such games.
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Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson walked to the podium and quickly pinpointed massive struggles in the fourth quarter as a major cause of his team's sudden downturn.
After enduring a nightmarish fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn hopes to produce better results and end a season-worst five-game losing streak Monday when it visits the Orlando Magic.
Brooklyn sits two games under .500 for the first time since it was 6-8. The Nets are 16-18 after getting outscored 38-22 in the final 12 minutes of Saturday's 121-102 home loss to the Raptors.
"Fourth quarter," Atkinson said, when asked if he spots a consistent theme in the losing streak. "Last four out of five games, we were right there, or led, or close. That's a theme. That's a big theme right now. We have to figure out why.
"We have to figure out why we're running out of gas. Is it physical? Is it execution? It's probably a combination of all of those things."
Since Brooklyn's last win on Dec. 21 over Atlanta when it outscored the Hawks 37-14 in the fourth quarter, the average margin of defeat is 12 points. During the streak, the Nets have been outscored by a 132-103 margin in the fourth quarter and are shooting 32.6 percent (32-of-98) and 22 percent (11-of-50) on 3-pointers.
Defensively, the Nets are allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent (48-of-104) in the last five fourth quarters and 53.9 percent (34-of-63) in the last three fourth periods.
"Just looking at it, defensively, we've given up a lot of points in these fourth-quarter stretches -- where it may be a lack of execution on one end or the other," Nets forward Joe Harris said.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points Saturday, but he and Harris combined for six points in the final 12 minutes.
On Monday, the Nets squandered a five-point lead in the final two-plus minutes before losing in overtime at Minnesota. On Thursday, the Nets entered the fourth quarter tied at 93 in Dallas and then scored seven points over the final 5:45.
Against Toronto, the Nets allowed the Raptors to shoot 60 percent in the fourth and wound up collapsing well before the fourth. Brooklyn was up 52-36 in the second quarter but got outscored by a whopping 85-50 margin over the final 27 1/2 minutes.
Orlando enters Monday with nine losses in its last 14 games since a four-game winning streak from Dec. 1-6 got it to .500. The Magic were unable to follow up wins over Washington and Miami and absorbed a 109-96 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday when they shot 44.7 percent -- but missed 26 of 37 3-point tries.
Like the Nets, Orlando also experienced some difficulties in the fourth quarter. Against Utah, the Magic were outscored 33-21 -- a night after they held Miami to a team-record six points in the fourth.
"We needed to shoot the ball better," Magic coach Steve Clifford said after his team was held under 100 points for the 15th time this season.
"We got a little tired, but the biggest thing was at the beginning of the fourth. You can't be disorganized in this league and they are so well-coached they took us apart."
Terrence Ross led the Magic with 24 points Saturday and is averaging 21.3 points in his last three games. Nikola Vucevic added 22, a total he has averaged over his last five games.
Orlando also is hoping to get more offense from Aaron Gordon, who is shooting 34.1 percent (40-of-107) in his last nine games since scoring 21 points in a 130-107 loss against Houston on Dec. 13.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 5, 2020