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Nets give up 153 points in ugly loss blowout loss to Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — This wasn’t injuries or exhaustion. It was just plain embarrassment.

The Nets rolled over in the second quarter and were humiliated in the third. And their defense folded like flimsy paper in a 153-121 blowout loss to the Kings on Tuesday night at Golden1 Center.

The Nets became the first NBA team this season to allow 150 points, and the 153 were the most the Kings have mustered since 1993.

The Nets trailed by as many as 39 points on a night on which they were noncompetitive.

With the score knotted at 40-all early in the second quarter, the Kings went on a 29-4 run — and the Nets lost much of the positive energy that coach Jacque Vaughn had been working to instill since replacing the fired Steve Nash. If the so-called “new coach bounce” is real, it may be wearing off. Vaughn is now 4-4 since taking the job, and the Nets are coming off consecutive blowouts.

After TNT backed out of the Knicks-Jazz game to air this, the nationwide audience was treated to an absolute caning.

Domantas Sabonis, who scored 17 points, dunks the ball during the Nets' 153-121 blowout loss to the Kings.
Domantas Sabonis, who scored 17 points, dunks the ball during the Nets’ 153-121 blowout loss to the Kings.
NBAE via Getty Images

As Kyrie Irving missing a seventh straight game due to his suspension, the Nets wasted another strong night from Kevin Durant (27 points, six assists, four rebounds) and are in danger of wasting a stellar season from him.

Edmond Sumner, who had 18 points, was the only other Net to acquit himself well.

Showing the same Achilles’ heel so glaringly exposed by the Lakers on Sunday in Los Angeles, the Nets — who had been one of the best teams in the league at protecting the paint — were attacked in the paint on both ends of the court. They put up little resistance, and were punished on offense and defense.

The Kings shot 10-for-12 in that game-deciding blitz, including 6-for-6 inside the 3-point arc. And the Nets shot 1-for-11 during the run, and just 1-for-8 inside the paint.

Kevin Durant, who scored 27 points, looks to make a move  on De'Aaron Fox during the Nets' loss.
Kevin Durant, who scored 27 points, looks to make a move on De’Aaron Fox during the Nets’ loss.
NBAE via Getty Images

By the time Harrison Barnes’ free throw left the Nets down 69-44, the clock read 2:22 remaining in the first half. There was no drama left in the game and no fight left in the Nets.

The Kings, who have won six of eight, were led by Terence Davis, who scored a game-high 31 points, and center Domantas Sabonis, who had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in outplaying Nic Claxton. And in truth, Vaughn had no better options to go to.

The Nets fell behind right out of the gate, and were down 24-11 midway through the first quarter after a Kevin Huerter 3-pointer.

Still trailing 30-20 after a Sabonis layup, the Nets clawed their way back.

Seth Curry hit a 3-pointer off a Ben Simmons feed to pull them even at 40-all with 9:11 left before the break. But that’s when they allowed 16 unanswered points by Sacramento.

Davis sandwiched a steal and pair of 3-pointers around a Davion Mitchell jumper. On the second 3, Davis bodied Patty Mills off the ball and sauntered downcourt for a running pull-up that made it 48-40 and sent Vaughn into a timeout.

It didn’t help. Consecutive Davis buckets — a driving layup, followed by his steal of a lazy Joe Harris pass and breakaway dunk — pushed it to 52-40.

Sabonis caped the 16 unanswered to make it 56-40 with 4:57 left in the half.

The deficit kept swelling in the second half.

Sabonis found Huerter for a running 3-pointer to make it 109-70 with four minutes left. But it had long since been garbage time.

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