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Despite Cameron Thomas' superb performance, the Nets still lost to the Charlotte Hornets, 110 to 99. It is one of the most disappointing losses of the season, considering Charlotte had a 15-48 record before this game.

Brooklyn was the favorite before this game, but a 17-point second quarter led to the Nets’ loss. Thomas was superb with 31 points and shooting 50% from the field, while Mikal Bridges scored 19 but went 6-for-18. The Hornets had a sustained attack as Miles Bridges and Brandon Miller combined for 47 points to lead them to a win.

“We got it going offensively, then shots started to not go in. We did not get back in transition. They just got their confidence in transition, they got 26 points off transition. We kinda halted them in the second half, but it’s too late then,” Coach Kevin Ollie said after the loss. “When our shots are not going in, we gotta do the little things. It’s not we’re not capable, are we willing to do it though?”

The Play-In is looking unlikely

The Nets couldn’t sustain after a strong start, as Thomas was the only standout for most of the game. Brooklyn’s bench struggled without Lonnie Walker IV, who sat out due to an illness. Dennis Smith Jr. was the leading scorer off the bench, scoring seven points.

With this loss, Brooklyn is now 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks. At this point of the season, that is a nearly impossible deficit for the Nets, as they’ve lost three games to the Grizzlies, Pistons, and now the Hornets since the back-to-back victories against the Hawks.

It is a bleak future for the Nets, as they need to make the postseason to have a successful campaign. They will still look to mount a comeback and compete with Atlanta. However, the Hawks are finding their stride even without star guard Trae Young.

The Cleveland game will be a challenge

This game was only the first leg of a back-to-back, as Brooklyn will play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second leg. It will be another challenging game for the Nets, as they haven’t beaten the Cavs this season, dating back to the season opener.

With Thomas back, the Nets have a reliable offensive star, but they still need Mikal and the rest of the squad to perform better. A Play-In Tournament berth is slipping away, and Coach Kevin Ollie must motivate his team to reach the goal.