Spencer Dinwiddie continued his stellar play off the bench against the Atlanta Hawks as his team high 23 points led the Brooklyn Nets to a close win on the road.
The Brooklyn Nets found themselves in a familiar position Saturday night in Atlanta. Down in the fourth quarter against a team out of the playoff race. The Nets needed a boost from their guards late and like in Wednesday’s game versus the Cavaliers, Spencer Dinwiddie took over.
Dinwiddie scored a team-high 23 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out seven assists. He had a plus/minus of plus-11 and contributed a spark to a Nets offense that struggled at times during the game.
For Dinwiddie, this game saw him break into the Nets record books. Dinwiddie surpassed Armen Gilliam with the most single season points off the bench for the Nets. Having Dinwiddie back in the lineup is the boost the Nets needed for this final playoff push.
For Nets, this win was a must as they needed to keep pace with the idle Detroit Pistons for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Before the Nets-Pistons matchup on Monday, the Nets handled business as they looked to gain more wins before they hit the road for seven straight games.
Atlanta gave the Nets all they could handle on Friday. John Collins ended the game with 33 points and a career-high 20 rebounds while rookie Trae Young had a triple-double (23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds).
The two caught fire in the fourth quarter as they gave the Hawks the lead with five minutes remaining before Dinwiddie and the Nets roared back.
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The Nets were trailing late in the game until a D’Angelo Russell 3 with 1:41 left gave the Nets the lead and they would not lose control for the rest of the game.
Joe Harris went 1-for-2 at the free throw line with 16.3 seconds left to give the Hawks a chance to tie the game or take the lead, but Vince Carter missed the 3 for the win in the closing moments of the game.
For the Nets, Jarrett Allen put in another double-double (20 points and 12 rebounds) and Russell made some timely shots to help the Nets win, but the poor free throw shooting is something the Nets will look to improve on in the future.
The Nets got to the line 54 times, but only made 33 which is only 61 percent.
The Nets improved to 17-5 since Dec. 7 in games which the margin has been five points or fewer in the final five minutes. Having Dinwiddie play well after coming back from thumb surgery is a plus for the Nets.
With Caris LeVert in a bit of a slump at the moment, the play of Dinwiddie is key for the Nets in this upcoming stretch of games.
The Nets come home for a brief, but important single home game against the Detroit Pistons before going out on a seven game road trip out West. Picking up a win Monday is very important in keeping up in the race.
The Nets are deep in the playoff hunt now and things look to only getting more entertaining from here.