Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks Takeaways and Grades

Jan 10, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets took on Kenny Atkinson’s former team, the Atlanta Hawks, on Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

The Atlanta Hawks jumped out to a quick 11-4 lead over the Brooklyn Nets, which set the pace for the first quarter. The Hawks used an 8-0 run to push their lead up to 10, at 25-15, but the Nets showed resiliency to keep pace.

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Brooklyn found a rhythm from beyond the arc in the first quarter, making 55 percent of their attempts in the first. The Nets were led by Bojan Bogdanovic in the first quarter, but Brooklyn gave up 35 points in the first quarter, as Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 10 points. The Nets trailed 35-29 after 12 minutes.

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The Nets’ defense struggled at the onset of the second quarter, as the Hawks outscored Brooklyn 13-6 in the first three minutes to push their lead to 13. Brooklyn seemingly had no answer for former Net Kris Humphries in the second quarter, as he recorded 10 points and six rebounds midway through the quarter.

Brooklyn simply didn’t play well in the second quarter. The Nets used effective ball movement to create open looks, but too often their shots just wouldn’t fall. When the Nets have struggled this season, the third quarter is typically the source of their downfall. But Brooklyn fell behind by 18 in the second quarter, as Atlanta outscored the Nets 26-14.

Brooklyn, without Trevor Booker, was out-rebounded 33-22 in the first half. The Nets trailed 61-43 at halftime.

The Nets got into foul trouble early in the third quarter. Just 90 seconds into the quarter, the Nets picked up their fourth team foul. But Brooklyn was able to take back some momentum as they went on a 15-7 run to cut Atlanta’s lead to 10 midway through the third quarter.

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Brooklyn played much better offensively in the third quarter, but still faced an uphill battle after creating such a large deficit in the second quarter. The Nets outscored Atlanta 27-25 in the third quarter, but trailed 86-70 heading to the fourth quarter.

Atlanta was able to close out the Nets in the fourth quarter, as the game turned into a blowout. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the fourth quarter for the Nets was Quincy Acy making his Nets debut. Acy signed a 10-day contract with the Nets earlier this week.

The 117-97 loss to Atlanta was Brooklyn’s 12th loss in their last 13 games, and their seventh straight loss.

Jan 10, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) dunks the ball over Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) during second half at Barclays Center. The Hawks won 117-97. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways

1. Nets reverse third quarter fortune

Many times this season, the Nets have unraveled in the third quarter, which inevitably costs Brooklyn. On Tuesday, though, the Nets reversed their fortune. The Nets came out of the halftime break looking fresh and determined. Brooklyn outscored Atlanta in the third quarter by two points, 27-25. The problem for the Nets, is the third quarter was the only quarter in which Brooklyn outscored the Hawks. For much of the game, Atlanta ran their offense effectively and the Hawks weren’t hindered by the Nets’ defense. But the third quarter, interestingly, was the least of Brooklyn’s problems.

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2. The Nets’ defense had no answer for the Hawks

The Hawks had six players finish in double figures. They moved the ball well, spaced the floor well, and kept Brooklyn’s defense off balance. The Hawks shot nearly 48 percent from the field, led by 19 points from Schroder. Dwight Howard scored 14 points, and pulled down 16 rebounds, seven of which came on offense. Atlanta also received great production off the bench, as Kris Humphries scored 13 points and Malcolm Delaney scored 12.

3. The second quarter meltdown

The Nets played relatively well in the first quarter, keeping the game within striking distance heading to the second quarter. Unfortunately, the second quarter was a complete and utter meltdown. Brooklyn scored just 14 points in the entire second quarter, putting themselves in a huge hole for the remainder of the game. If there is one good takeaway after the second quarter collapse, it’s that the Nets didn’t mail it in — the Nets actually played better in the third quarter, which hasn’t been the case for much of this season.

Jan 10, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) is fouled by Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during second half at Barclays Center. The Hawks won 117-97. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Player of the Game:

Brook Lopez

C, Brooklyn Nets

A

While the Nets did trail for the majority of this game, Brook Lopez put in a typical Brook Lopez performance. Lopez scored 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting in 32 minutes. Lopez made just two three pointers, and got off to a cold start from beyond the arc, but the versatile veteran found other ways to score. There weren’t many positives in the Nets’ loss to Atlanta, but Lopez, as he is on many nights, was one of the bright spots for Brooklyn.

Wildcard:

Bojan Bogdanovic

SG, Brooklyn Nets

B

Bojan Bogdanovic did a bit of everything for the Nets on Tuesday. He scored 16 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Three of his makes came from beyond the arc in the first quarter. Bogdanovic also had six rebounds and four assists. Bogdanovic’s rebound total was second to just Rondae Hollis-Jefferson among starters, and Bogdanovic led all starters in assists. Bogdanovic has had an inconsistent season for the Nets, but he played relatively well on Tuesday.

Up your game, please…

Justin Hamilton

C, Brooklyn Nets

D

Justin Hamilton struggled in 26 minutes on the floor on Tuesday. He shot 2-of-8 from the field, including 0-of-5 from three point range. Hamilton has shown at times that he can be an asset from beyond the arc, but he was off his game against Atlanta. Hamilton scored just four points, and turned the ball over twice. One positive for the Nets is Hamilton pulled down six rebounds, but offensively he had an off night. As the backup center, Hamilton should be smarter about his shots. If they aren’t falling, as was the case against the Hawks, he shouldn’t be a high-volume shooter. Only two players, Caris LeVert and Sean Kilpatrick, shot the ball more off the bench than Hamilton against Atlanta.

With the loss, the Nets approach the 30-loss mark, as they drop to 8-29. Brooklyn will now try to snap their seven game losing streak on Thursday against the Pelicans.

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