The Nets end a chaotic day by blowing a late Bulls lead with a 4-point effort from Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets capped off a chaotic day off the court Tuesday with a fitting nightcap.

Hours after head coach Steve Nash was fired amid reports a man suspended for a conduct violation would replace him, the Nets lost a late double-digit lead in a 108-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls. .

They did so as Kyrie Irving – embroiled in the latest controversy of his own making – failed to score a bucket until the fourth quarter. He finished with four points. It was a stunning but not unexpected effort from the beleaguered Nets star. The chaos surrounding Irving and the Nets finally seemed to creep into his game.

You can’t count on Irving to make good decisions off the field. You can’t count on him to show up on it. But when he’s actually there, you can almost always count on him to produce. A career scorer of 23.1 points per game, he entered Tuesday averaging 30.1 points per game this season. On Tuesday, he shot 2 of 12 from the field.

We won’t hear about the root of Irving’s struggles from the source. After instigating a verbal fight with ESPN’s Nick Friedell over his promotion of an anti-Semitic film, the Nets hid Irving from the media on Tuesday for a second straight day in a bid to “leave it on the simmer.”

These are the words of Sean Marks. Here they are, straight from the GM’s mouth as he explained earlier Tuesday why the Nets were shielding Irving from reporters.

“He didn’t do media last night, he won’t tonight,” Marks said Tuesday afternoon. … “We don’t want to make more noise right now with more interaction with people. Let it simmer and, I guess, let fresher minds prevail.”

When Irving speaks next is unclear. But the state of Nets basketball is not. A Brooklyn franchise with its site in sight to compete for multiple championships fell to 2-6 on Tuesday as the on-field product continued to reflect the uproar away from the arena.

Kyrie Irving sits on the bench during a scoreless first half against the Bulls. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

The Nets looked on track to provide temporary balm while opening up a 58-52 lead at halftime on Tuesday. Irving was scoreless, but Kevin Durant carried the weight en route to a 32-point effort. They extended their halftime advantage to 68-56 early in the third quarter and were heading for a well-deserved win.

But the Bulls hung on in third and pressed the gas in fourth with a 17-2 run. They outscored the Nets, 31-19 in the final stanza of the game as Zach LaVine torched a hapless defense that was unable to stop almost anyone in eight games. The Bulls All-Star single-handedly beat the Nets with 20 points in the fourth quarter in a 29-point effort.

Ben Simmons, who was acquired in part to improve Brooklyn’s defense, watched from the bench for a second straight game with what the Nets described as knee pain. Few things indicate that he would have been of much help despite everything. He was an offensive handicap averaging 6.2 points on 5.7 field goal attempts per game for the Nets. Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s defense entered Tuesday ranked 29th out of 30 teams in defensive standings in seven games — six of them played by Simmons.

Tuesday was the first game under interim coach Jacque Vaughn. It looks like he won’t be long for the job as reports indicate that suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka will take over in Brooklyn.

If Udoka is indeed the next Nets coach, he expects a tough gig.

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