The Brooklyn Nets secured another big home win Monday night, defeating the Atlanta Hawks 91-86. It was the Nets’ third win in a row to make them a perfect 3-0 in 2014. Joe Johnson led the team with 23 points, while Mirza Teletovic had 16 big points off the bench. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague each scored 16 for Atlanta.
The Nets got off to a good start in the first quarter tonight, but then had a really rough second quarter. The Hawks ended the second on an 11-0 run to take a 6-point lead at halftime. Luckily for the Nets, they got the “bad third quarter” out of the way early tonight and actually played well in the third for a change, opening the quarter on an 11-0 run of their own. In the fourth, the Nets briefly gave up the lead, but regained it thanks to some big shots by Joe Johnson and Mirza Teletovic. They hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
This win shows that the Nets should be a playoff team in the east. Even without Al Horford (who is out for the season), the Hawks have been one of the better teams in the east, and the Nets defeated them without Deron Williams tonight. They are now only 1 game out of the final playoff spot in their conference.
Player grades and notes:
Shaun Livingston: A
Without Deron Williams, Livingston really stepped up tonight. The Nets looked much better on both offense and defense with him in the game. He really runs this offense well and defensively he did a good job against anyone, from Jeff Teague to Kyle Korver. He could be the second best defensive player on the roster.
Alan Anderson: B+
He didn’t hit all of his shots, but I really like Anderson’s energy and effort tonight. He scored 14 points, including an 8-0 run of his own early in the third quarter. He aggressively attacked the paint frequently, leading to foul line appearances. Defensively, he was smart as well, making good switches and preventing Kyle Korver from getting good looks.
Joe Johnson: B-
I’m not really sure why the Nets kept going back to Joe in the fourth quarter in isolations. The rest of the team was playing pretty well offensively, so I don’t think they needed that tonight. He made a couple of big baskets late in the fourth, but also had a big turnover and a bad missed corner 3. Still, he scored 23 points tonight, getting out of a 5-game slump.
Andrei Kirilenko: A-
Kirilenko does so many things for this team, and not all of them show up in the box score. He forces turnovers, plays smart defense, makes good passes, and can drive to the basket. However, he needs to work on his free throws. He got to the line 10 times tonight, but only made 6 of the shots. Otherwise, he would get an A.
Mirza Teletovic: A
Mirza came up big again late in the third and fourth quarters tonight. He had a couple big 3′s at the end of the third to expand the Nets’ lead, much like he had against Cleveland on Saturday. And then he hit the dagger 3 with 44 seconds remaining in the game. He undoubtedly has a major role on this team, even if he isn’t starting.
Jason Terry: F
11 minutes. 0-5 FG. 0-4 3-pt FG. No thank you.
The Nets will look to build on this momentum on Wednesday night when they host the red-hot Golden State Warriors. See the game live by getting your Brooklyn Nets vs Golden State Warriors tickets here.
FRWD will have full coverage of the game.