The Brooklyn Nets trailed by 19 points in the 2nd quarter Wednesday en route to the biggest comeback win of the Brooklyn era, 116-100 over the Atlanta Hawks.
There was a time this season when no lead was safe at Barclays Center. That was true again Wednesday, only this time it was the Brooklyn Nets that roared back from a big deficit.
The Nets pulled off the largest come-from-behind victory of the Brooklyn era, erasing a 19-point second-quarter deficit and rolling to a 116-100 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The comeback was the franchise’s largest since the New Jersey Nets came back from a 76-57 deficit with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter to defeat the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., 102-100 on March 30, 2012.
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The Brooklyn era standard had been set Nov. 29, 2016, when the Nets erased an 86-68 deficit with two minutes to go in the third period before coming back for a 127-122 double-overtime win over the LA Clippers.
There would be no need for any late heroics on Wednesday as the Nets (21-22) took Atlanta’s best haymaker early before getting things stabilized late in the first half.
Then they turned on the gas in the third quarter.
The Nets couldn’t make much of anything early, going 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) in the first quarter and trailing 38-23 at the break.
The drought extended into the second quarter and Atlanta (12-29) took its largest lead with 9:02 to go in the first half when Trae Young stole an errant D’Angelo Russell pass and took it to the hole himself. His free throw completed the three-point play to give the Hawks a 46-27 lead.
Brooklyn answered with an 11-0 run to get the game back into single digits and got the deficit down to five on Rodions Kurucs‘ floater in the lane with 33.7 seconds left in the half before trailing by six, 57-51, at the half.
The Nets charged out of the game as Kurucs got a steal and a breakaway dunk on the first possession of the second half and Jarrett Allen‘s dunk from inside the foul line a minute later cut the Atlanta lead to two.
Joe Harris tied the game for the first time on a 3-pointer with 9:43 to go in the third quarter and after an Allen steal, Russell made a running reverse layup to give Brooklyn its first lead of the game at the 9:26 mark.
The Hawks righted the ship and the lead bounced back and forth seven times in the quarter before the Nets closed the third with a 9-0 run, taking an 86-80 lead into the break after Ed Davis‘ three-point play with 3.7 seconds remaining.
The fourth quarter was simply all Brooklyn, as the Nets pushed the lead to 20 on Shabazz Napier‘s fast break layup off a steal with 2:38 remaining.
It was just the second time this season Brooklyn has won after trailing by at least 10 points, with the previous victory coming on Halloween, when the Nets erased a 10-point deficit before beating the Detroit Pistons in overtime 120-119.
Brooklyn is now 2-16 this season when trailing by at least 10.
Meanwhile, the Nets have won 12 straight games in which they have led by at least 10 points and are 20-8 in those games.
The Nets recovered from their icy start to shoot 45.3 percent (43-for-95) on the night, hitting 10-of-30 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range and outrebounding the Hawks 54-52.
Atlanta, however, had a 25-8 edge in second-chance points as the teams each had 18 offensive boards on the night. The Nets scored 26 points off 19 Atlanta turnovers and surrendered 23 points off their 18 miscues.
Brooklyn also had a 17-6 edge on the fast break against the NBA’s fastest-paced team.
The Hawks shot just 36.4 percent (35-for-99) and were just 24-for-77 (31.2 percent) over the final three quarters, while hitting just 6-of-35 (17.1 percent) from deep.
Russell scored 23 points to lead the Nets, while Davis grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds in 23 minutes, eight of them on the offensive glass. Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 16 points and five assists, Napier had 11 points and three steals and Allen went for 11 points and three blocks.
Jared Dudley had two blocks before leaving with a left hamstring injury in the third quarter and Treveon Graham also swatted a pair of shots. DeMarre Carroll scored 17 points off the bench, Harris added 16 and Kurucs finished with 11.
John Collins matched a career-high with 30 points and also yanked down 14 rebounds for the Hawks. Rookie Kevin Huerter went for 14 points and matched his career-best with 10 boards. Young had 17 points and seven assists.
Former Net Jeremy Lin scored 16 points with three steals and DeWayne Dedmon blocked four shots. The Nets’ third all-time leading scorer, 41-year-old Vince Carter had a very rough night, coring three points and taking three shots to the face.
With the win, the Nets moved percentage points ahead of the idle Miami Heat (19-20) into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
They lead the eighth-place Charlotte Hornets (19-21) by a half-game and are 1½ games up on the ninth-place Detroit Pistons (17-21), who played the Los Angeles Lakers on the West Coast late Wednesday.
Brooklyn goes back on the road Friday, visiting the Toronto Raptors (31-12), who have the NBA’s best record and last played Tuesday, beating Atlanta 104-101.