After notching two wins on a three-game road trip, the Nets returned to the Barclays Center with no inside game on Saturday, making 17 of 42 threes but losing 114-102 to the 4-17 Hawks.
Falling behind by as many as 12 points early in the game, it was the deep-ball that kept the Nets in contention. Brooklyn finished the first half 10-22 from three-point range, but it was an uphill battle for most of the game after they lost a 22-18 lead in the first quarter.
“Part of the game plan was to drive it on this team, because they’re down some bigs,” said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. “That’s kind of our identity. But for some reason, we weren’t driving the ball like we needed to. I felt like we let them off the hook by not driving it enough.”
Two big factors that ensured the Hawks never lost control of the lead–despite the Nets’ cutting it to just 2 points with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter– were Hawks’ guard Dennis Schroeder and forward Luke Babbitt. Schroeder (24 points) and Babbitt (20 points) were the game’s lone 20-point scorers. Aside from the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie, who had 15 points, no other Nets player scored more than 13 points in the game.
The loss drops the Nets to 8-14 on the season.
“Any time somebody shoots 20-plus times, they are going to get points,” Dinwiddie said of Schroeder, who made 11 of his 24 shots. “Credit to him for being aggressive. That’s what hit us.”
The loss drops the Nets to 8-14 on the season. However, after losing star guards Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell early in the season, Brooklyn still has something to be optimistic about: they get a rematch against the Hawks on the road on Monday, before heading to Mexico City to face the struggling Oklahoma City Thunder who are 9-12 and who have lost three out of their last four games.
“We’ve got to be ready on Monday,” said Nets forward DeMarre Carroll. “We need that game, that’s a big win for us.”
Falling behind by as many as 12 points early in the game, it was the deep-ball that kept the Nets in contention
Last season, the didn’t get their ninth win until January 20. They now look to best that and then some.
“Every game for us is important, because we’re fighting, scratching and clawing to earn respect from everyone around the league,” said Dinwiddie. “In finding our respect, we’ve got to get every win possible.”