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Hawks humble Nets; snap six-game win streak, 131-99

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

The Atlanta Hawks snapped the Nets' six-game win streak with a 131-99 victory in Atlanta Saturday night. The Hawks led by as much as 25 in the first half after hitting 66% of their shots and 58.3% from three. They looked motivated, despite the fact that they've already clinched a playoff berth.

They had every right to be motivated against the Nets, a team that's desperately fighting for a playoff seed. However, the Nets and Hawks will swap picks for this upcoming draft, so Atlanta really wanted to beat up on Brooklyn. And they certainly did so.

The Nets looked sluggish from the start and it carried over into the second quarter where they were outscored 35-26 on close to 65% shooting from Atlanta. At one point, the Hawks hit 19 of 21 shots attempted in the second quarter. The Nets looked exhausted, mostly because they played a wire-to-wire game in Brooklyn just last night.

The game was over before the first half buzzer sounded.

With the Nets' loss, Miami loss and Boston win, the Celtics jump the eighth seed and trail the seventh-place Nets by a half-game. The Heat, in ninth place, trail the Nets by a full game. Brooklyn's loss does also means they cannot finish any better than .500 on the year and scores them at 10-29 against teams .500 or better. Ugh.

The defense will need to be much better these last six games. Just ask the Hawks, who had a total of 12 players scored at least one field goal.

Al Horford was the leader of it all, scoring 16 points in the first half and 20 on the night in 21 minutes of action. The Nets really had no answers for him, nor DeMarre Carrol, who finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Jeff Teague was flashing by defenders and creating offense for Atlanta, causing havoc for Brooklyn and facilitating the Hawks' offense with 17 points and eight assists. They dished out 40 assists on the night. The Nets? 22.

Atlanta finished the night shooting 59.8% from the field and 51.5% from three. DeMarre Carrol (20 points) hit on 4-of-5 from three and Kyle Korver (10 points) 3-of-5 from three.

They cracked 100 points (108 to be exact) by the end of the third quarter.

For Brooklyn, Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He filled in the shoes of Alan Anderson, who sat out of the game with an ankle injury. For Bogdanovic, it's important that he make the most of his opportunities here down the stretch. With Markel Brown and Alan Anderson playing so well and adapting to their assigned roles, Bojan has no other choice but to bring offense to the table.

The Nets turned the ball over 21 times and scored just 40 points in the paint. Saturday night in Brooklyn, they scored 74 points in the paint, which is their second best of the season - and a category they've strived in since the acquisition of Thaddeus Young.

The loss comes a night after a huge victory over the Toronto Raptors. It was a wire-to-wire game that saw Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Thaddeus Young combine for 90 points. Saturday, however, the three combined for 35 points. It was just clear from the start that it was not Brooklyn's night. Young finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, Williams with 10 and Lopez with 11.

"They beat us from start to finish," Lionel Hollins said. "It was a good whipping. There’s nothing else I can say about it. They came out and played great."

They'll look to rebound against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Barclays Center this Monday - the blizzard makeup game from late January. Despite this loss, the Nets will go into Brooklyn still having won six of the last seven and 10 of 13. It's hard to knock Brooklyn's recent success just because of one bad loss against the Eastern Conference's best team.

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