The force awakens, but not in the Brooklyn Nets’ favor. At least, not in this game. The Atlanta Hawks are so damn pesky.
Both teams got off to painfully slow starts, as the score was just 2-1 Nets over two minutes in. Still, the first quarter was jam-packed with highlights worthy of your attention. Spencer Dinwiddie had nine points in the period, all from incredibly deep triples. Tyler Zeller also had a pretty sick block.
Despite Brooklyn’s better shooting, however, where Atlanta was able to create opportunities to score were offensive rebounds (five) and second chance points (eight). The Hawks closed the quarter on a 7-0 burst, culminating with a quick Isaiah Taylor layup before the first quarter buzzer sounded. As a result, they even overtook the game with a 25-22 lead.
The force persisted into the Hawks’ veins in the second, as their run quickly swelled to 16-0. The Nets’ woes were compounded by their 10 turnovers in the first half, which Atlanta was able to take advantage of. It took Brooklyn until the 9:15 mark of the period to finally score — a three-pointer by Quincy Acy.
The Nets’ three-point shooting was what helped them stay afloat for most of the second quarter. In the first half, Brooklyn shot at an outstanding 10-of-22 from behind the arc (45.5 percent), which accounted for 30 of their 45 points. But, the Hawks were once again able to pull away. At halftime, they were up 54-45.
Brooklyn added to its hot streak to start the second half, with treys by Crabbe and Carroll trimming the Hawks’ advantage to just three points, 62-59. Atlanta countered with five consecutive points. This was the storyline of the third quarter — the Nets coming close to bridging the gap, and the Hawks answering back. Atlanta still held an 81-75 edge heading into the fourth.
The final 12 minutes began with — you guessed it — more three-pointers. Sean Kilpatrick matched Luke Babbitt’s triple with one of his own. The Nets were then able to chip away at Atlanta’s lead through (astonishingly for this game) free throws and twos. A slam by Jarrett Allen just a bit over two minutes into the fourth fired up the Nets’ bench and sparked a Hawks timeout, as Brooklyn only trailed by four, 88-84.
The Nets were able to get the Hawks’ lead down to as little as 90-88, but that was the closest they got. Turnover after turnover was Brooklyn’s downfall.
Spencer Dinwiddie Point Guard
15 PTS, 5-10 FG, 3-8 3PT, 9 AST, 3 TOV, 30 MIN
Playmaking and few turnovers are Spencer Dinwiddie’s specialties. I’m OK with that.
Joe Harris Shooting Guard
13 PTS, 4-7 FG, 4-6 3PT, 3 REB, 3 AST, 3 TOV, 26 MIN
Get Joey Buckets into the three-point contest. N:OW.
DeMarre Carroll Small Forward
9 PTS, 3-12 FG, 2-9 3PT, 10 REB, 3 AST, 1 TOV, 31 MIN
Former Hawk DeMarre Carroll never fails to disappoint in his hustle. He did not shoot all that well, only finishing with nine points, but he actually had more rebounds than points.
12 PTS, 3-7 FG, 2-5 3PT, 3 REB, 1 TOV, 15 MIN
Skilpatrick has struggled for much of the season, but he was a major cog in the Nets’ fourth quarter run. Not too shabby, SK.
Caris LeVert Shooting Guard
6 PTS, 2-8 FG, 2-6 3PT, 3 REB, 3 AST, 4 TOV, 25 MIN
There was not much going on (nor right) for Caris LeVert Saturday afternoon. Both of his converted field goals accounted for all of his points (and were three-pointers), but he also led the team with turnovers. Yikes.