NEW YORK — Heading into Monday night’s home contest against the Bulls, the Nets sat in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, and were fully in control of their playoff destiny with two games remaining in the regular season.
After a disappointing performance in which Brooklyn was shredded 113-86 by a very good Chicago team, that is no longer the case.
“It was a disappointing loss, but the way I look at it, we have one more game left,” Nets head coach Lionel Hollins said afterward. “We have to win it. And the other teams have to win, too.
“Indiana has to win — if we win Wednesday and they don’t win both games, we’re still in. So that’s the way I’m looking at it.”
That’s the optimistic view, one that Hollins and the rest of the Nets are now forced to take. Brooklyn trails Indiana by a game…
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The Thunder beat the Blazers on Monday night, keeping themselves alive in the race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. That part didn’t have much drama. But the Blazers suffered two more injuries to rotation players when they least afford them.
Nicolas Batum was helped off the court in the first quarter after suffering an apparent knee injury:
[nbcsports_video src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/4_YAi-CGxjM width=620 height=349]
And C.J. McCollum suffered an ankle sprain in the second quarter:
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The Blazers were already scraping for depth on the wing, with season-ending injuries to Wesley Matthews and Dorell Wright. Arron Afflalo is also out with a shoulder injury. McCollum had been playing well in increased minutes, so the Blazers have to hope this injury isn’t serious. Otherwise, they’re going to have virtually no depth and hope that the likes of Allen Crabbe and Tim Frazier can suffice against the Clippers, Rockets…
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