Being unable to stop Tobias Harris Wednesday night is part of a litany of issues plaguing the Brooklyn Nets these days.
The Nets get another chance at containing Harris on Monday afternoon when they host the Philadelphia 76ers and attempt to break a three-game losing streak.
At 18-23, the Netsare a season-worst five games under .500 and they are winless in a stretch of five straight games against upper-echelon opponents. During the last three games against Utah, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, the Nets are losing by an average of 14.0 points per game.
The second defeat in Brooklyn's losing streak occurred Wednesday in a 117-106 loss at Philadelphia. The Nets were outscored 31-16 in the fourth quarter and were unable to stop Harris from scoring 23 of his 34 points in the final 12 minutes.
"That is what we wanted to do," said Harris, who shot 70 percent (14 of 20) on Wednesday. "We wanted to go at the mismatches. We had a height difference and were able to find looks."
The Nets are hoping Harris will not be making similar postgame comments Monday, especially with how things are going in the last month. Brooklyn is 2-10 in its last 12 games since beating Atlanta on Dec. 21, and they have an average margin of defeat in those games is 12.4 points.
The latest loss was a 117-97 home defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, when the Nets trailed for the final 40:33 and allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 29 points. Brooklyn shot 33.3 percent and allowed the Bucks to shoot 50.6 percent and hit 17 3-pointers.
Saturday's loss occurred three days after Kyrie Irving stated that the Nets needs were "glaring." Irving played his fourth game back from missing nearly two months with right shoulder impingement and scored 17 points.
"It's not like we're going to pack it in and just say, 'Hey, let's see.' No, when I say see where we end up, it's in that 6, 7, 8 spot," Irving said. "Put a realistic goal in front of you and really go after it. ... So heading into All-Star break, you want to have these great tests, see what we can learn from them and move forward. Then after All-Star break, we get everybody back, and I feel like we'll be in a better place."
The Nets were missing three rotation players in Joe Harris (sore back), DeAndre Jordan (dislocated right middle finger) and Garrett Temple (right knee contusion). Only Jordan is expected to sit out Monday.
Philadelphia is on a three-game winning streak and is attempting to post consecutive road victories for the second time this season. The 76ers are 8-14 in road games and snapped a six-game road skid by pulling out a 90-87 victory Saturday night against the New York Knicks.
Harris helped the Sixers get the win by hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer with 28.2 seconds remaining. Harris scored 15 points and Ben Simmons led Philadelphia with 21 points in a game in which it squandered a seven-point lead in the final 6 1/2 minutes.
"It was a real sense of urgency of getting a win on the road and getting stops down the stretch," Al Horford said after Philadelphia held the Knicks to 39.8 percent shooting and 24.0 percent (6-of-25) from 3-point range. "Defensively, this was kind of like an old-school type of game."
Philadelphia enters Monday allowing 104.9 points per game, which is among the best in the league. The Sixers also have allowed less than 90 points in consecutive games after holding the Chicago Bulls to 89 on Friday.
--Field Level Media