The Brooklyn Nets continue their free fall, as star forward Kevin Durant remains out with a left knee injury.

The loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday (121-111) was the fifth in a row for Brooklyn, which dropped to sixth in the East (29-21). They are now heading to Sacramento to face the Kings on Wednesday. After that, they will battle the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets to complete their five-game trip in the West.

At the moment, the Nets play with a sense of urgency and desperately want to return to the winning track. Playing without their leader in Kevin Durant has cost them a lot. James Harden is not at his best, as he just recovered from injuries to his hamstring and hand.

Even though he returned vs Phoenix, Brooklyn was unable to stop the Suns, who are on an 11-game winning streak and have the best record in the NBA (41-9). Harden and Kyrie Irving combined for 48 points, yet the Nets lost again.

With Durant, Joe Harris and LaMarcus Aldridge out, Brooklyn is struggling on both ends and especially offensively. They could fall to the play-in tournament spots if they lose their next three games.

Their losing streak began 10 days ago when they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road. Brooklyn returned home for back-to-back games vs the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. and Yiannis Bouranis were* at Barclays Center, covering those two games, and it was obvious that the Nets were the underdogs on both occassions.

Against the Lakers, James Harden was the only Brooklyn player that played at high standards. A day later, though, he was out with injury and the Nets had to play with all their stars out.

However, they stood tall and came a step away from a big home win over the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic and Denver, though, had the final say in the game and survived the late thriller.

After their back-to-back losses, the Nets started their five-game road trip in the West. With their losing streak at five games, they can’t afford to lose again and hope more players will step up to help Harden-Irving duo.

With Irving playing only on the road, Brooklyn coaching staff knows things will improve only if Durant returns sooner. However, the All-Star forward could return as soon as after the All-Star Break (February 18-20). Until then, the Nets have nine games to play. Only three of them will take place at Barclays Center, including a rematch with the Kings on February 14.

For its part, Sacramento will seek to snap a seven-game losing streak and maintain their chances to reach the play-in tournament. Currently at 18-34, they are 3.5 games behind the 10th-seeded Portland Trail Blazers (21-30).

Overall, an exciting game is expected on Wednesday night; both teams are seeking for consistency and a much-needed victory to snap their respective losing streaks.

*What a great experience it was to cover my first NBA regular season games onsite. With the NBA and respective teams offering the best working conditions for journalists, it was a pleasure to cover all the action from the press box. Hopefully, more onsite regular season and playoff coverage will come soon.