EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The New Jersey Nets were pounded into NBA infamy Wednesday night, falling, 117-101, to the Dallas Mavericks for their 18th straight loss to start the season.
The Mavericks made 17 of 19 shots and opened a 27-point lead in a nearly flawless second quarter, 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 streak could last a while longer.
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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.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Kidd had 16 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Mavs, who led by 31 points in the third quarter.
In a nightmarish season where they’ve earned praise for often being competitive despite an injury-depleted roster, the Nets didn’t put up a fight in this one.
The NBA’s worst team in scoring and shooting could only blame its defense, which gives new coach Kiki Vandeweghe something to address when he runs his first practice today.
Vandeweghe, the Nets’ general manager, replaced the fired Lawrence Frank and will coach the team the rest of the season. But Vandeweghe won’t coach his first game until Friday night, leaving assistant Tom Barrise in charge for the record-setting defeat.