Hawks Stop Streaking Nets

The Brooklyn Nets’ seven-game win streak came to an unceremonious end Wednesday night after losing to the Atlanta Hawks, 109-95, at Philips Arena. Though without the services of star player, Josh Smith, who was suspended a game for poor conduct, the Hawks were efficient on offense. Guards Jeff Teague and Devin Harris (former Net) combined for 46 points and 16 assists.

Teague’s 28 points (a career-high) and 11 assists were game-highs for Atlanta, who had six players in double figures, including its starting five. Hawks’ sharp shooter Kyle Korver killed the Nets with his offense off the bench (11 points on 5-of-10 shooting). Playing in his first game against his former team, Joe Johnson was a dud, scoring only 15 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Lopez’ 22 points and nine rebounds was one of the few bright spots for Brooklyn in what was an overall miserable night for the team.

Atlanta played a fast-paced fullcourt game that the Nets were unable to contain. By shooting 70 percent in the second half, the Hawks opened up a 26 point lead in the third quarter. Despite being down by 20+ points, Brooklyn did not go down without a fight. The Nets managed to cut the deficit to nine midway through the fourth quarter, but they would never get any closer. Every time the Nets would make a run, the Hawks would keep them at bay by making a timely jumper.  This game was perhaps indicative of the law of averages at work. Atlanta was coming off its worst game of the season, only scoring 58 points against the Chicago Bulls, and had lost eight of its last eleven games. The Nets, however, were riding on a seven-game winning steak and were undefeated in January.

I guess something had to give. Brooklyn is not going to win many games against good teams like the Hawks if they are allowing their opponents to shoot over 60 percent from the field. Without question, the Nets will have to play better defense to have sustained success. They will have the chance to start a new streak against the team that ended their previous one when they play the Hawks on the back end of a home-and-home series at the Barclays center on Friday.

Jeff Teague going up against Brook Lopez


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