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Nets beat Hawks 72-65 to improve to 2-0 in Summer League

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Led by Chris McCullough's 16 points, the Brooklyn Nets improved to 2-0 in the Las Vegas Summer League, beating the Hawks 72-65 at the Thomas & Mack Center.. Brooklyn took a 16-point lead into halftime and held on to beat Atlanta by seven due in large part to their defense.

The Hawks shot 33% from the floor and 6-of-26 from three on the afternoon. Brooklyn will need to maintain that same tenacity and focus on the defensive end if they want to make a run in this Summer League ... their first exposure to former Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson's coaching.

McCullough's 16 points and eight rebounds paced Brooklyn, but rookie Isaiah Whitehead scored 10 points at the lead guard spot to help the Nets get the victory. Also, McCullough hit on both of his three-point attempts, a potential big development for the second-year pro as he figures to see a lot more time than he did last season.

Some other notes from the game included Nets reserve big Jerrelle Benimon, who was a +21 in 21 minutes on the floor. Benimon played in China last year, averaging 25 points a game after a two-game stint with the Jazz in the 2014-2015 season. The Nets used their length to create 11 steals and force 16 turnovers, even though they had 20 of their own.

The Nets next play Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.ET against the Washington Wizards.