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Nets fall short in Game 5, trail 3-2 in the series

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As they say, the Nets go wherever Deron Williams takes them. And a five-point performance won't cut it.

After owning defenders and scoring 35 points in Game 4, Deron Williams laid an egg yet again. Williams scored five points on 2-of-8 shooting and like the first three games of the series, he wasn't exactly as aggressive as the Nets would've hoped for.

The Nets weren't feeling much like an eighth seed after winning two straight games at home. However, the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks humbled them in Game 5, 107-97, and now own a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 scheduled for this Saturday. The Nets' stars were ineffective.

Deron Williams and Brook Lopez were held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, all five Atlanta starters finished in double figures, namely DeMarre Carroll with 24 points & seven rebounds on 8-of-15 shooting. The five combined for 91 points. Brooklyn? 56.

A big part of the starters' struggles was Brook Lopez. The Nets star big man struggled after a 4-for-13 performance against the undersized Hawks, where he's averaged over 20 points per game in the series prior to Wednesday night. He also grabbed just three rebounds after averaging a hair over 10 in the series.

In his place, Alan Anderson was the surprising leader for Brooklyn -- scoring 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting. He was hustling after all the 50/50 balls and looked like the only Net with urgency in the first half. They still couldn't rally behind his battle cry.

The Hawks led the entire way, mostly hovering double digits throughout but Brooklyn wouldn't go away. Despite trailing by 12 heading into the fourth, they went on a 14-2 run and trimmed the deficit down to two behind 10-fourth quarter points from Jarrett Jack. He finished with 18 points in 32 minutes.

There they were. The zombie Nets looking to break down the door and grasp ahold of the series after cutting the deficit down to two with two minutes remaining. Then, the Hawks slammed the door shut after scoring three consecutive buckets that ended with a Jeff Teague dagger-floater to go up eight with 42 seconds left. Teague finished the night with 20 points and eight assists.

The Hawks are now 31-0 on the year when leading after three quarters.

Al Horford chipped in 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Kyle Korver continued to kill Brooklyn behind the arc with 20 points and five 3-pointers. The Hawks as a whole shot 48% from the field and 38% from three. They committed only 11 turnovers and out-rebounded the Nets 43-35.

There seems to be some consistency in the losses: turnovers. Whichever team has coughed the ball up the most in each game has lost each and every time. The Nets turned it over 13 times  - which isn't too bad, but when your three primary scorers in the starting lineup combine for 9-of-29 from the field, you're bound to come up short.

Trailing in the first round isn't something new to the Nets. In the three straight postseason appearances, they've have trailed 3-2 in the first round each year. Both years they forced a Game 7.

The heart, fight, and passion are all there for the Nets. We'll see if it's enough to save the season.

Next up: The Nets & Hawks will come back to Brooklyn for Game 6 this Friday at 8:00pm where the Nets' season is on the line. In NBA history, the Game 5 winner goes on to win the series 82 percent of the time.

For more on the Atlanta Hawks, check them out at Peachtree Hoops.