In their first two meetings against the Atlanta Hawks, the Brooklyn Nets allowed Trae Young to score 86 points but still did enough to win both games.
Coming off their first win in nearly three weeks, the Nets will try again to contain Young when they host the Hawks on Sunday night.
The Nets are on a seven-game winning streak against the Hawks since a 114-102 home loss on Dec. 2, 2017. It is their longest streak in team history over Atlanta.
Brooklyn is attempting to get consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 15-17 when it beat Philadelphia and New Orleans. The Nets are 2-8 since then and halted a seven-game skid with Friday’s 117-113 win over Miami.
Friday was Brooklyn’s first win since Spencer Dinwiddie scored 39 and the Nets outscored Atlanta 37-14 in the fourth quarter while overcoming 47 points by Young in a 122-112 win on Dec. 21.
During their skid, the Nets experienced massive struggles in the fourth quarter. In the final game of the slide, Brooklyn blew a seven-point lead and lost in overtime to Oklahoma City on Tuesday. On Friday against the Heat, the Nets ended the game with a 17-4 run over the final four-plus minutes.
“I think it was communication from timeouts, from everybody talking, everybody sharing what they see, coaches giving us a great game plan and putting us in position to execute,” Nets forward Taurean Prince said of Friday’s finish. “The five guys that were on the floor were communicating as well and doing what we had to do down the stretch.”
Dinwiddie scored 26 points against Miami to go along with a career-high 14 assists. He is averaging 24.8 points and 7.2 assists as a starter in place of Kyrie Irving, who was a full participant at practice Thursday for the first time since injuring his right shoulder two months ago.
Atlanta has lost three straight and is just 2-7 since the last meeting with Brooklyn. The Hawks ended a 10-game skid by beating Orlando on Dec. 30 and then knocked off Indiana on Jan. 4 but also lost close games to Denver and Houston before taking a 111-101 loss in Washington on Friday.
Young enters Sunday averaging 28.9 points this season and 31.8 in his last five since sitting out two games with a sprained ankle.
Young also leads the Eastern Conference with six 40-point performances but Friday was not one of them. He was held to 19 points, marking only the sixth time Young did not get 20. The second-year guard also missed all seven 3-point attempts while shooting 7 of 20 overall.
Young’s quiet night was not the main problem for the Hawks, according to coach Lloyd Pierce. Pierce watched his team fall to 8-31 on a night in which it allowed 37.5 percent shooting but also allowed a season-high 19 offensive rebounds.
“They wanted it a little bit more,” Pierce said. “They had 23 more shots than us. They wanted it a little bit more. It’s inexcusable. They shot (37.5 percent) for the game. All of those things point to, those are the games you’re supposed to win, except for the effort department.”
–Field Level Media