Nets, Pelicans try to put missed opportunities behind them

The Brooklyn Nets and the New Orleans Pelicans will both try to bounce back from games they let slip away when they meet Tuesday night in New Orleans.

The Nets went scoreless for the final 3:30 of a last-second 109-107 loss at Miami on Sunday. The Pelicans lost a six-point lead in the final minute and a half of regulation and fell at New York 122-112 in overtime Sunday.

Brooklyn can withstand lost opportunities as it gears up for the Eastern Conference playoffs, but New Orleans has to make every game count as it faces an uphill climb to reach the Western Conference play-in tournament.

The Nets led the Heat 107-101 before going cold and succumbing to Bam Adebayo’s mid-range jumper as time expired.

“We didn’t execute down the stretch,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “We didn’t get into our sets a couple times, passed up an open look at the end. Just wasn’t sharp offensively at the end.”

Landry Shamet led Brooklyn with a career-high 30 points off the bench, making 10 of 15 shots from the field with seven 3-pointers.

“He was great,” Nash said. “It was a huge performance, very important for us to stay in this game.”

Kyrie Irving had 20 points and nine assists but made just 6 of 19 shots and missed the Nets’ last three attempts.

“There was definitely some preventable plays out there that I feel like just could have been better, including myself down the stretch when they came to double,” Irving said. “I felt like I definitely could have made those last three shots.”

The Nets lost Kevin Durant to a left thigh contusion early in the game. He had made his first three shots and scored his team’s first eight points.

It’s unclear if Durant will be available against the Pelicans. He returned from a 23-game absence due to a hamstring injury when the Nets routed the visiting Pelicans 139-111 on April 7.

New Orleans bounced back from that loss to win its next three games. But it has lost three straight since then, including overtime games in its last two — 117-115 at Washington on Friday and at New York on Sunday.

New Orleans led the Knicks by three points with 7.8 seconds left in regulation. During a timeout coach Stan Van Gundy told his players to foul the Knicks before they could attempt a 3-pointer. He also said to stick with sharp-shooting Reggie Bullock just in case.

But Eric Bledsoe didn’t foul Derrick Rose, and Lonzo Ball drifted away from Bullock when Rose drove to the basket. Rose passed to an open Bullock, who made a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Bledsoe said he had a “lack of focus.”

“There were two mistakes on the play,” Van Gundy said. “When you do that, you deserve to lose. High-school guys could have done what they were supposed to do.

“All you have to do is execute for 7.8 seconds. You’re just supposed to come out of a timeout, do what you’re supposed to do and put the game away, and we don’t do it.”

New Orleans was once again plagued by poor 3-point shooting, making 6 of 27. The Pelicans have not made more than seven 3-pointers in any of their last seven games.


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