Nets struggling out West
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Nets hope to avoid their fourth straight loss this evening when they conclude a four-game road trip against the Seattle SuperSonics at KeyArena.
The Nets continued to struggle on their West Coast swing on Friday, as they were on the wrong end of an 88-83 decision to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
Richard Jefferson scored 23 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and added six assists, while Clifford Robinson added a season-high 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Nets, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games.
The skid has cut New Jersey's lead in the Atlantic Division to just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Vince Carter sat out with a sore back and his offense was missed as both Jefferson and Jason Kidd logged over 45 minutes of playing time. Kidd ended with 18 points and eight assists.
Carter, aggravated the injury in Wednesday's 90-77 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, will be a game-time decision tonight.
Jefferson, who has averaged 16.1 points with 5.7 rebounds in nine lifetime games against Seattle, has averaged 18.1 points and 7.1 boards in the last seven games since missing three straight with back spasms.
New Jersey, which will host the ultra-hot Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, is 10-13 away from home this season.
The Nets topped the Sonics earlier in the season and has won four of six and five of the last nine meetings. New Jersey, though, has dropped five of six and 14 of 16 in Seattle.NJN