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Nets 94

PHILADELPHIA - There are matters in life that defy belief.

Like the Nets losing another player to injury last night. Courtney Lee exited early in the third quarter with a strained left groin and did not return. That left the Nets with eight players, one of them Sean Williams who, suffice to say, played as much as Buck and Jayson Williams.

Hard to believe, right? But then, there are matters that are completely believable.

Like the Nets losing again.

It happened, but this one, a 97-94, down-to-the-last-play defeat to the Sixers that gave the Nets the worst start in their NBA history, 0-6, had a different feel. Make no mistake, the Nets weren't giddy but they knew they gave effort. OK, a losing effort but it sure beat some of their other performances.

"We're defeated, but we know we had a chance," said Trenton Hassell (17 points, 12 rebounds), who started at small forward for Chris Douglas-Roberts - he was quarantined in New Jersey with flu-like symptoms. "We didn't give up even when they made their runs and we were a shot or two or a stop away."

Lee exited at 10:01 of the third quarter after a steal and layup. And though Devin Harris missed his fourth game last night with a strained groin, Lee didn't rule out playing tonight against Boston.

"When I was running back, I felt it tighten up," Lee said. "It's not bad at all. I'll rest as much as possible. They said it was a micro-tear. . . . It's day-to-day. It's minor."

The game came down to the Nets , who received a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double from Brook Lopez, looking to tie with 11.0 seconds remaining after Andre Iguodala (16 points) missed the second of two free throws. Down 97-94, the Nets rebounded, called time and looked to get Bobby Simmons a 3-pointer up top. Terrence Williams inbounded.

"It was a bounce pass and it took a little time to get to me," said Simmons. "Once I caught it, I didn't have a good look so I passed."

To Rafer Alston (14 points) who in turn gave it back to Williams who in turn was stripped by Iguodala. The Nets never got off a shot.

"We battled our tails off. It's disappointing, obviously we're a play away from winning the game," coach Lawrence Frank said.

The Nets and Sixers swapped scores late with Louis Williams (18 points) carrying Philadelphia. It was tied at 92 when Iguodala stuck "a dagger three," Frank said, for a 95-92 Sixer lead at 2:02. But the Nets rallied and got within 96-94 with possession. Eduardo Najera (9 points, starting again for Yi Jianlian) drove right and shot off the glass. He missed.

"It went around then out. I thought it was in," Najera said.

"I feel bad for them, because you want to see them rewarded," Frank said. "If we had one more play in the tank we could have won."

But, believe it, they didn't.


Team president Rod Thorn said the Nets' poor start is not a reflection of Frank. "No, the team is obviously undermanned and you can only look at that," said Thorn. "Lawrence just has to keep coaching and working as he does until we get our guys back."

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 8, 2009


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