Sunburned: Hollins & Hornacek postgame

The Nets lost to the Phoenix Suns 108-100 in overtime on Friday night at Barclays Center. Here is what the head coaches, Lionel Hollins of the Nets and Jeff Hornacek of the Suns, had to say afterwards.

Lionel Hollins, Nets Head Coach:

On the Nets’ overall execution: “Well, we just couldn’t execute, turned the ball over, we had a lot of easy shots that we didn’t make, but you know, nine turnovers, and when you go 21-for-55 in the paint – we just had a lot of opportunities that we couldn’t complete. Along with the turnovers and timely threes – they made three of them, and all of them were timely. One after timeout, one after we had scored and they had free throws and they didn’t know where our man was and they hit a three in the corner and then we switched, and then we went to help them and left a guy open in the corner in front of our bench. So those three things were huge, and just not executing.”

On the lineup down the final stretch of the game, which included Bojan Bogdanovic and Cory Jefferson, but not Joe Johnson: “We needed some energy. Before we had the 15-point lead, we were really dragging. And I thought Cory Jefferson did an outstanding job, and Bogey came in and made a couple shots and really got us energized and we increased the lead. I was trying to leave the group as long as we could, and we made some subs, and we just didn’t make enough plays.”

On the use of those guys in place of Johnson: “Yeah, I mean, Cory was doing such a nice job. I had Cory in the game; I had Thaddeus (Young) in, Joe on the bench – that’s why we have 12 players on the roster that can play. You’re just trying to find a way to win the game.”

On the lineup on the final play in regulation, which was a Jarrett Jack miss, and Johnson and Brook Lopez were both on the bench: “Well I was gonna spread the court and we were gonna run a pick-and-roll. And we did – we got a good shot, he (Jack) just missed it.”

On the struggle with closing games: “Gotta make plays. Gotta defend rebounds, and you gotta make plays on defense.”

On how tough the past two losses have been to their playoff chances: “I’m not gonna say what I’ve heard other coaches say. We’re just trying to go out and play and win. I mean, we want to make the playoffs, but you have to beat teams on your home court, and you have to close out games on your home court, you know, you’ve got to do positive things consistently before you can be a playoff team, and we haven’t been consistent all year long. We’ve been hanging around, but we haven’t been able to close games when we’ve needed to.”

On Cory Jefferson, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds off the bench: “Cory had a great game tonight, he’s been playing well – all of our young guys. Markel (Brown( has grown, Bogy’s grown, even Sergey (Karasev) who’s not getting to play much, they’ve all grown and become better basketball players. They’ve put in a lot of work and as I’ve said before, (Assistant Coach) John Welch has done a great job of being there for those guys before and after practice, and they put in the time.”

On getting a fast start: “Well, we played well out of the gate many times, so that’s not one of our issues.”

Jeff Hornacek, Suns Head Coach:

On the game: “We got off to a good start, then we couldn’t make a shot. 0-for-22 from the three-point line and we couldn’t score there for a while. But again, our guys didn’t quit. We finally got a three to go and I think that got everybody to finally get off the zero count for three-pointers. And we had some big plays. Eric (Bledsoe) got a three in the overtime, Brandon Knight with that basket to put it to four, Marcus (Morris) hit a big one. We probably didn’t play well for the middle 25-28 minutes, but the beginning and end we were pretty good.”

On getting out of the dry spell at the three-point line: “Yeah, I tried to tell them at one timeout, ‘just smile.’ I think everyone was thinking so much about missing the shot and sometimes you just got to let it go. And we’d had those open shots before. And sometimes also when you are down by 12 or 15, all of a sudden maybe that pressure releases a little bit too, and you can just let it fly and have nothing to lose. Even though we made the shots it’s really our defense that did it. The guys were after it. They were helping each other out. They were scrambling and putting great pressure on the ball. Consequently, it was hard for them (Brooklyn) to score at the end.”

On the impact of the charge called on Deron Williams late in the fourth: “Yeah, that was huge to take that charge. I think when we really focus defensively, and it’s hard to do it for 48 minutes. I love watching that. When our guys are helping each other out and talking, that’s one thing, we’re a young team – we don’t talk very well. A lot of times we are quiet. At the end there, I wish I had a microphone on all of them so I could replay it. They were talking to each other telling him, ‘I got you,’ ‘I’m here,’ I’m here.’ That’s stuff we’ve been trying to work on and to see them actually do it is great.”

On the encouragement the Suns players gave each other during the shooting dry spell in the third and fourth quarters: “Well I think they were all thinking kind of ‘I got to make it, I got to make it.’ But again, all of us were just saying ‘hang in there, we are going to come back and win this game.’ Again, our guys did it the other night. We had some games earlier. Last year, we did it a bunch. And it’s just a testament to these guys that they don’t quit.”



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