Spencer Dinwiddie took the Nets’ seventh straight defeat on his shoulders, saying “it’s on me, for sure” after missing a late technical free throw and extending his recent shooting slump in Tuesday’s overtime loss to the Thunder.
His teammates insisted such a declaration was unnecessary.
“Just keep going. We go as far as he takes us,” Caris LeVert said after the game. “He’s the guy right now, so he has to keep going no matter what kind of night he’s having. We feed off of his energy more than anything else, whether he’s making shots or missing shots. He’s the quarterback of the team right now. Just keep going.”
With imported All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sidelined with injuries, Dinwiddie is averaging a career-high 22.4 points per game through 36 appearances. But he has shot just 36.3 percent from the floor and 22 percent from 3-point range during the team’s losing streak.
Despite his teammate’s slump, Joe Harris believes Dinwiddie — an 80 percent free-throw shooter — was the right choice to take the potential tiebreaking technical foul shot with 11.7 seconds left in regulation against Oklahoma City. Dinwiddie clanked it off the rim and also missed a floater as time expired to send the game to overtime.
“Spencer has been really consistent for us all season from the line,” Harris said. “We all had a lot of confidence in him to make the shot.”
Coach Kenny Atkinson had used the same starting lineup in 23 of the previous 24 games before inserting forward Rodions Kurucs for Garrett Temple against the Thunder.
Temple still logged more playing time off the bench, scoring 11 points in 28 minutes. Kurucs had four points (2-for-4) and four assists in 19 minutes.
“I liked it. I thought it was good for both of them,” Atkinson said. “I thought Rodi was good and Garrett, it gave him a real boost and managed his minutes. I was pleased with that change.”