Final: Atlanta Hawks run away from Brooklyn Nets, 109-95

USA TODAY Sports

The Nets won 9 of 10 before visiting Atlanta and faced a struggling Hawks team without their best player - and they got run out of the gym.

Hawks head coach Larry Drew said Monday after his team's humiliating 97-58 loss to the Bulls that his team had "flatlined". Yesterday, there was an incident in practice that resulted in leading scorer and potential All-Star Josh Smith being handed a one game suspension.

We'll call that move "The Defibrillator".

The Hawks hit the floor running and never stopped, blowing by the plodding Nets and scoring easy basket after easy basket.

The Hawks' speedy backcourt of Jeff Teague, Devin Harris and Lou Williams combined for 57 points on 23 of 37 shooting as the Nets failed to stop them, slow them down or even get in their way. Teague led the Hawks with a career high 28 points and added 11 assists. The frontcourt combination of Zaza Pachulia and Al Horford also had terrific games - combining for 12 offensive rebounds and aggressively sparking the break. Pachulia was just 2 assists short of a triple-double. Atlanta shot 57% for the game.

"They outplayed us in pretty much all the aspects of the game.", said head coach P.J. Carlesimo. "But the biggest problem, the one we need to be concerned with on Friday, is the transition. We've got to get back."

The Nets were down by as much as 21 in the second half, but cut it to 12 midway through the fourth and looked poised to make a run, but the defense never picked up and the Hawks continued to drain shots. Brooklyn would get no closer.

The Nets' big men led the way for them. Brook Lopez shot 10-14 for 22 points and added 9 rebounds. Andrey Blatche went 6-7 for 12 points.

Familiarity with the rims didn't help Joe Johnson. He and his backcourt mate Deron Williams produced a barrage of loud thuds as 24 of their 33 shots deflected off of them.

The Nets go to 23-16, 5th in the East and 2.5 games behind the first place Heat (who play the Warriors later tonight). The Hawks improve to 22-16, good for 6th in the East, just a half game behind the Nets.

Asked about Friday's rematch, Johnson summed up his feelings.

"It's not about them. I expect a different Nets team. I expect things to be a lot different on Friday."

Quick Notes

- Joe Johnson somehow finished the game at -2. Devin Harris was +24. Keith Bogans would do well to just say +/- is a meaningless stat.

- Bogans' stat line: 17 minutes, 0 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 0 steals, 1 turnover. 0-6 shooting - all from long range. He was -23 (in 17 minutes!) Yipes.

- The Nets shot 17-17 from the free throw line and lost by 14. In related news, they shot a dismal 4-26 from three.

- The Hawks outscored the Nets 29-12 on the break.

- Gerald Wallace returned from his rib injury and was a non-factor with 4 points and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes. His transition defense could have really helped.

- After the game, the Nets talked about their failure to exploit Atlanta's double teams. Joe Johnson seemed particularly agitated, saying "We didn't make the right reads." This is something to watch for in Friday's game to see how the Nets adjust.

- The Hawks scored 58 points Monday. They scored 56 in the 1st half tonight. They scored 5 points in the 2nd quarter Monday. Johan Petro scored just 5 less than that tonight. (Stat of the Night)

- In a move that can only be described as cowardly, Drew did not play Johan Petro.

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