Kevin Durant bemoaned the Brooklyn Nets' "bad" loss to the Chicago Bulls after the Eastern Conference leaders squandered a double-digit lead.
Saturday's blockbuster NBA showdown between the east's top two teams went in favour of the Bulls 111-107 at Barclays Center, where the Nets had led by 11 points in the third quarter.
The Bulls (16-8) – spearheaded by Zach LaVine (31 points) and DeMar DeRozan (29 points) – rallied to take down the Nets (16-7) on their home court.
"We just gotta go out there and play with some force and confidence, like we want to win," said Durant, whose double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds, and four assists and two blocks, were not enough for the Nets.
"And understand it's a long game, and just stick with the game plan. It's a bad, it's a tough loss. We didn't take advantage of being up nine, 10 points.
"We just let them stay in the game and we were supposed to just bury them."
Final from BK pic.twitter.com/SGe5J22drv— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 5, 2021
Fellow Nets superstar James Harden also had a double-double of 14 points and 14 assists, but the former MVP was just five-of-21 shooting from the floor.
"Blame this one on me," said Harden. "I had a lot of opportunities at the rim that I didn't convert that could have settled this game down."
Durant defended Harden by saying he should have taken more shots against the Bulls.
"That would've taken pressure off of him," Durant said.
Nets head coach Steve Nash added: "We did a lot of good things. Our guys did what we asked them to do. We got 111 shots at the basket. They just didn't go tonight."