The Nets had been living in the 80s this past week, displaying some rather bad aim in scoring just 84, 88 and 81 points on the way to three straight losses.
Scoring hasn't been one of their strong points all season. The Nets showed up at Barclays Center Friday night sitting in 24th place in the NBA scoring standings at 95.8 points per game.
They had a potential one-night cure filling the away uniforms, the five-win 76ers, one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Deron Williams sat out with fractured rib cartilage and Kevin Garnett was rested, but scoring still was more difficult than it should have been.
As a result, the Nets were beaten by the now six-win 76ers, 90-88. With the score tied at 88, Michael Carter-Williams drove the lane and fed Nerlens Noel for the game-winning dunk with 3.2 seconds remaining.
Lionel Hollins didn't think filling up baskets was going to be much of a problem when this season tipped off.
"That was the one thing I thought, that it was a good shooting team and it could be a good offensive team and we just had to shore up the defense," the Nets coach said. "But guys haven't made shots and we've had injuries to people we've counted on thus far."
Brook Lopez scored 18 points and Mason Plumlee delivered his eighth double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets (16-20), who shot 45.2 percent from the field. They will take a four-game losing streak into tonight's game against the Pistons in Detroit.
The Nets led 86-80 after Joe Johnson converted two free throws with 3:51 left. But the 76ers went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a three-pointer by Robert Covington (20 points) and a three-point play by Tony Wroten, to take an 88-86 lead with 2:41 left
Lopez tied it with a foul line jumper with 25.3 seconds left. After a timeout, the 76ers pulled off the winning play.
The 76ers (6-29) fell behind by 13 in the third, but trailed 71-64 heading for the fourth.
The Nets shot 60 percent in the first quarter and grabbed a 32-23 lead. But they shot only 6-for-19 and scored 14 points in the second quarter as their lead was cut to 46-45 at halftime. Clearly, their scoring problems have not been solved.
Notes & quotes:Andrei Kirilenko, who was acquired from the Nets on Dec. 11, hasn't reported to the 76ers and has been suspended. There were reports claiming the 76ers reneged on a promise to release him, but coach Brett Brown said, "That's not accurate."