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Nets torched by Hawks and lose seventh straight, 117-97

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The season is growing, the weather is getting colder and the Brooklyn Nets’ losses continue to pile up. Let’s just say 2017 is off to a tough start for the guys in black and white, and the fans that continue to support them through this process.

The Atlanta Hawks (22-16) won its seventh straight game and delivered Brooklyn (8-29) their seventh straight loss – 12 of the last 13 – with a 117-97 rout, Tuesday night at Barclays Center.

Kenny Atkinson caught a glimpse of what life is like coaching against coach Mike Budenholzer and the Atlanta Hawks, whom he was an assistant under for four years.

"Well you feel a little bit for Kenny Atkinson tonight. Brooklyn is trying to build something special here, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game. "The wins are a little bit hard to come by and you know how hard he is work and how hard his players are working. It’s hard. I care so much about him and I want good for him so it is a little bit hard."

The Hawks controlled the game from the start, allowing the Nets to hang around for the first quarter and the first quarter only. Atlanta broke free in the second quarter, however, and went up by as much as 20 points as they battered Brooklyn on the boards 33-22 in the first half.

Surprisingly, they only out-rebounded Brooklyn 53-48 on the night. The first half issues on the glass appeared to be a mix of Howard’s prowess down low and the absence of Trevor Booker (left hip contusion).

The Nets made it interesting for a whole 12 minutes until they were outscored 26-14 in the second quarter. Brook Lopez was held to five points and zero rebounds, while Dwight Howard already had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Howard, the shoulda-coulda-woulda-been-Net, finished the night with 14 and 16 rebounds. Lopez, meanwhile, finished with 20 points and only two rebounds.

Down by 18 at half, the Nets had little to show for in a poor performance against a tough team again. They cut it to 10 in the third quarter, but never got it closer than that.

"They had more energy, especially in the first half. They just outworked us," Brook Lopez said after the game.

One of the few positive signs of the developing process was Caris LeVert, who impressed again with 11 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists. "CLV" has scored in double figures in two of his last three games after doing so once in his first 14 games this season.

The same positive notion can be made for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in his first start since November 23. Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 16 points, six rebounds and four assists.

The Nets committed 18 turnovers on the night and shot 40.2 percent on the night. For Atlanta, Dennis Schroder led the way with 19 points and 10 assists. The Hawks shot 48.4 percent and committed only 12 turnovers.

"We’re going to look at the tape and watch it to see if we can pick up some things," Atkinson said of his old team. "They set the bar high and we can look at it and say someday we’d like to strive to be a similar program, but we have a lot of work to do."

—- For post-game audio, click HERE —-

Oh, and somebody should’ve warned Dwight Howard that folks in Brooklyn (and mostly New Jersey) do not find him humorous.

After the game he said, "It was just me and Jeremy having fun, lightening the mood, having a good time, enjoying the game. This is why we play, right?"

SURE. WE’LL LET THIS ONE SLIDE, DWIGHT.

ACY ARRIVES

The Brooklyn Nets officially signed Quincy Acy to a 10-day contract on Tuesday. He was active and played in the final minute of the blowout. He spoke to reporters before the game.

On a 10-day contract, what will he bring to the team?

"High energy, toughness, defending at a high level and just competing. Just trying to make it."

The LIN FILE

Jeremy Lin missed his seventh straight game and 25th of the season. There is still no timetable on his return.

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The Brooklyn Nets remain winless in 2017 and continue to struggle without Lin in the lineup. The season was never about winning, but when you’re 8-29 and do not have your own draft pick, it’s hard to justify the current situation. Again, it isn’t the current regimes fault for any of this, really, but life in Nets land is not very fun. There is no longer ‘grit’ nor fight in many of these games.

Next up: Thursday, home vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.