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Friday, Dec. 4, 2009

Lowly Nets set mark for futility with 18th straight loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) All those losses in what's now the worst start in NBA history had already beaten down the New Jersey Nets.

News photo
Record defeat: New Jersey Nets fans show their displeasure Wednesday night as the team goes down to its 18th straight loss to open the season. Dallas beat New Jersey 117-101. AP PHOTO

So when the Dallas Mavericks hit them with a 49-point second quarter, the Nets simply had no fight left.

New Jersey was pounded into NBA infamy Wednesday night, falling 117-101 for its 18th straight loss to start the season.

"I think what happens is you know it wears on you," interim coach Tom Barrise said. "It's not a two-game losing streak. We play four games a week in this league and it's every day and every other day, and you know you hear it and you start to feel it a little bit."

The Mavericks made 17 of 19 shots and opened a 27-point lead in a nearly flawless second period, burying the Nets early in former New Jersey captain Jason Kidd's second trip back to his old home.

The Nets passed the 1988-89 Miami Heat and 1999 Los Angeles Clippers, who both dropped their first 17 games. New Jersey's next chance to end the streak comes Friday at home against Charlotte.

If the Nets defend the way they did Wednesday, the skid could last a while longer.

Dallas shot 81 percent in the first half, the first NBA team to make 80 percent of its shots in a half since the Denver Nuggets hit 82 percent against the Clippers on April 4, 2006, according to STATS, LLC.

"At this point, I feel the streak has definitely gotten the best of us. It's really not starting to get to us now," guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "So when a team goes on a run, we kind of, it's almost like we give up, which is really unfortunate but that's what it looks like to me. We kind of give up and just lay down instead of trying to fight."

Hawks 146, Raptors 115

In Atlanta, Al Horford had 24 points to lead nine scorers in double figures as the Hawks had their best offensive night in 16 years.

Cavaliers 107, Suns 90

In Cleveland, Shaquille O'Neal scored 12 points against his former team, and LeBron James just missed a triple-double for the Cavs.

Thunder 117, 76ers 106

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 33 points to help the Thunder hand Philadelphia its eighth straight loss.

Magic 118, Knicks 104

In Orlando, Rashard Lewis scored 17 of his 20 points in Orlando's 41-point third quarter, and Dwight Howard added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Bulls 92, Pistons 85

In Chicago, John Salmons scored 22 points, and Derrick Rose added 19 to help the Bulls end a five-game losing streak.

Wizards 104, Bucks 102

In Washington, Earl Boykins scored 11 of his 13 points in the final 10 minutes, including the winning free throws with a second left for the Wizards.

Grizzlies 97, T-Wolves 95

In Minneapolis, Mike Conley scored a season-high 20 points and Rudy Gay scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half for Memphis.

Kings 110, Pacers 105

In Sacramento, Tyreke Evans scored 26 points to help the Kings sweep a four-game homestand to improve to 9-8.

Rockets 102, Clippers 85

In Los Angeles, Aaron Brooks made his first eight shots and finished with 22 points, and Chase Budinger added 19 points for Houston.

Al Thornton had 19 points for the Clippers.

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