The networks burn in the defeat against the humble Magic

After playing with fire the last three games, the Nets finally got burned.

They had found ways to achieve victories in those three games, despite a few nervous moments. But the NBA’s hottest team suddenly cooled off in a 121-113 loss to the Magic before 3,665 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

Kyrie Irving scored 43 points, but they were wasted. The Nets (28-14) looked good, but just couldn’t bring them down when their six-game winning streak, the highest in the NBA, was snapped and they fell half a game behind the 76ers in the Eastern Conference.

While the Nets’ shots weren’t falling, the struggling Magic (14-27) suddenly couldn’t miss.

“It just didn’t matter [what we did]Irving said. “I was throwing a layup, they were throwing free throws or a triple was going to the net, or some kind of game was happening where we looked at each other like, we just have to give in. They slap them on the butt and say good game.

“They came back in a row very desperate, and we didn’t match their energy, so [it] it happens like this. This is what it feels like to lose. We don’t want too many feelings like this, so learn from it and move on. “

James Harden and the Nets lost to the Magic on Friday night.

Trailing 103-84 in the fourth quarter, the Nets opened the period on a 16-1 streak to get within four points. But that’s the closest they got.

The Nets created wide shots but finished just 10 of 37 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Magic, last in entering field goal percentage, went 21 of 40 from deep. Aaron Gordon, who finished with 38 points, got into a zone and the Nets couldn’t get him out.

“The teams had to be perfect to beat us, and they were just making shots, tough shots,” Bruce Brown said. “I’ve never seen Aaron Gordon shoot like this in my life. So it was a difficult night. “

It’s been a while since the Nets had one of those. They had won 14 of their last 15, including a team-record eight in a row on the road. But that came to an end.

James Harden had 19 points and nine assists, while Joe Harris added 16. But after logging marathon minutes Wednesday at Indiana, they looked exhausted.

Harden shot 4 of 15 overall and 2 of 8 from 3-point range. And Harris, who hit 50 percent from deep this season, was only 3 of 13, including an air ball.

“I think James and Joe felt fatigued. They had a big load against Indiana, so I think those two surely felt some fatigue in their legs, “said coach Steve Nash. “Sometimes you can play very, very hard and be very, very active, but that doesn’t mean your legs will be there for your shot.”

The Nets fell behind 25-18 from the start. They rallied with seven unanswered to match a Landry Shamet 3-pointer, but the tie was short-lived. The Nets trailed 48-36 on an Evan Fournier 3-pointer with 7:09 left at the half.

Another 8-0 run by the Nets put them back in hitting distance at 52-49, and they briefly regained the lead at 65-64 when Irving opened the second half with a 3. But briefly it was the keyword.

The Nets coughed up an extended 29-11 run for the next eight minutes, with Nikola Vucevic’s free throws making it 93-76 with 3:51 left in the third.

“We couldn’t buy a bucket,” Shamet said. “It’s the NBA: if you dig a hole, 20 before someone else, it will be difficult to get out again.”

The Nets tried. Trailing 103-84 to start the fourth, they opened with an 11-0 run, including an impressive touchdown pass from Harden to Nic Claxton.

Irving’s 15-foot domination put the Nets to 104-100. But they ran out of gas, falling behind by 11 and losing to a team that had lost nine in a row.

“I think 21 out of 40 out of 3 of them is outstanding. That was, in many ways, the story of the game, ”Nash said. “If we had been a little sharper to begin with, maybe we could have lowered that. But maybe it was just one of those nights. “


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