Nets Vanquish Hawks as Brook Lopez Approaches Franchise Scoring Record

Apr 2, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) looks to pass the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) and forward Ersan Ilyasova (7) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) looks to pass the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) and forward Ersan Ilyasova (7) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports /

147. 82. 125. Final. 91

The Brooklyn Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks, 91-82. Brook Lopez impressed for the Nets, while Dennis Schroder was dominant for Atlanta.

The Hawks were quite shorthanded in this one as Thabo Sefolosha, arguably one of Atlanta’s most valuable players, was sidelined with a knee injury. Joe Harris was still nursing an injury and as a result, was not available in this contest. It was announced earlier Sunday Harris would not see the court again this season.

Jeremy Lin started out the evening blazing hot. He began the game 3-of-3 from the field, with eight points. The Nets heavily focused on the three-point ball early in this one, as they were 4-of-8 from behind the arc in the first six minutes alone. Brook Lopez also got off to a quick start, and he took advantage of the three ball in doing so. He nailed three threes and had 18 points overall in the first quarter.

Mike Muscala answered the Nets’ run by scoring a string of unanswered points to keep his team competitive. Brooklyn led 29-24 after the first quarter.

“Brook-Lin” carried the Nets offensively in the early portion of this game. Other than those two scoring options, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the only other Net to log a bucket. When both Lin and Lopez took a rest for a handful of minutes, Brooklyn missed 12 straight shots. This streak was finally broken by Trevor Booker at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter, when he netted a floater to give the Nets a five-point lead.

MUST READ: Every Win Has Meaning For Nets in Disappointing Season

Atlanta was also a victim of this scoring drought. The Hawks failed to make a field goal in the first six minutes of the second quarter. At this point in the quarter, both teams were a combined 1-of-20 from the field.

As halftime approached, only four Nets had logged a point. Lopez, Lin, RHJ and Booker were the only members of Kenny Atkinson’s squad to contribute to their small lead. RHJ had perhaps the most interesting stat-line of the four, as he was a perfect, 2-of-2 from three-point land.
The Hawks were clearly backing off Hollis-Jefferson due to his notoriously bad shot form, and RHJ made the defense pay.

The game was tightly contested down the stretch of the second quarter. Heading into the locker room, Brooklyn held a slight lead, 46-43, in a low-scoring affair.

MUST READ: Looking at 2017 Free Agent Shooting Guards For the Nets

Lopez established himself as a defensive force to begin the second half. He had three of his five blocks in the opening minutes of the third quarter, including an impressive chase-down block to prevent an easy bucket by the Hawks. “The Wookie” also continued his offensive dominance, increasing his point total to 25 at the eight-minute mark of the third quarter.

Brooklyn held a steady, two-possession lead for a couple of minutes in the third quarter. However, with the Nets’ main scoring options due for a rest, the Hawks were primed to make a run. Luckily for the Nets, this run never came. Paul Millsap continued to have an off night, and Sean Kilpatrick chipped in a couple of easy buckets to give Brooklyn a respectable 70-61 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

Brooklyn continued to pour it on to begin the fourth. They held a 15-point lead with nine minutes to go in regulation. Quincy Acy in particular made a couple of high-energy, scrappy plays that made a huge difference down the stretch. His energy and enthusiasm also played a big role in getting the crowd being more involved in the game.

More from Nothin' But Nets

The Hawks appeared to be very focused as crunch time approached. This was a game they desperately needed to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Coming into this matchup, the Hawks were two games ahead of the ninth-seeded Indiana Pacers for a playoff berth.

After a mid-fourth quarter timeout, Mike Budenholzer made several adjustments that resulted in a small run for the Hawks. This culminated in an “and-one” situation in which the Hawks cut the deficit to three, and Caris LeVert was tagged with his sixth and final foul.

Lopez was sent to the bench with a knee injury around the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter. However, the Nets still held a firm, five-point lead in the final minutes of regulation.

Next: An End to Third Quarter Woes Latest Sign of Hope

Atkinson was never forced to put Lopez back in the game, as Booker had an emphatic jam with under a minute to go to bury the Hawks. Ultimately, the Hawks took the loss at Barclays Center, 91-82.