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Hawks hand Nets a very disappointing loss in Brooklyn, 114-102

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — “They came out and basically kicked our butt. We didn’t have any energy,” DeMarre Carroll said after the game.

Pretty much.

Just when it looked like the Nets were rolling, they came up with an extremely disappointing loss at home to the Atlanta Hawks, 114-102, Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn. Despite missing three of its primary big men, Atlanta out-scored the Nets by 26 points inside the paint and rallied behind Brooklyn’s lack of energy.

Energy and effort was the major issue of the night - a disappointing one to say the least. The Nets were beat at their own game of simply out-playing the opponent. Coach Atkinson got it from Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, who returned the favor tonight.

“We have to look at what we’re doing and we certainly weren’t prepared like we needed to be tonight, Atkinson said. “So that goes all around I think, players, coaches.”

They committed just eight turnovers and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, which enabled them to take 13 more shots than the Nets, who hit 17 3-pointers. When the Nets would make a small run, Atlanta would answer with a run of their own.

“I don’t think any of us were very good tonight so I think we tried a lot of different combinations, tried small ball, tried some zone. Just nothing really worked,” said Atkinson.

This was a game the Nets should’ve had, but they looked lackadaisical from the start. They failed to find a rhythm from the beginning, despite Atlanta playing without John Collins, Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala.

The Nets led by three late in the first quarter, but Atlanta adjusted into a 3-2 zone briefly and it threw the Nets off. From that point on, they went on a 16-0 run - bridging the first and second quarter — and took a nine-point lead at half.

Brooklyn hit 10 3-pointers in the half, but they were out-scored 20-6 inside the paint. Other than the solid 3-point shooting, the offense was hardly fluid and the defense was even worse.

The Nets cut an eight-point deficit down to two, but the Hawks answered with a 16-5 extended run and led by 13 with 5:43 left. Atlanta had all momentum and Luke Babbit (20 points) appropriately put home the dagger with under four minutes remaining.

Sigh.

Spencer Dinwiddie had a solid game with 15 points and nine assists on 5-of-10 shooting. Jarrett Allen had 12 points and six rebounds – his first game in double figures. Starting in place of RHJ, Trevor Booker had a disappointing night with zero points and one rebound in 15 minutes.

For Atlanta, Dennis Schroder was the high man with 24 points and six assists. He was simply too quick and nifty for the Nets.

The Nets are now 8-14 overall (4-6 at home) while Atlanta improved to 5-17 on the season. The two will meet again in Atlanta on Monday.

“We’re all in good spirits and I think we’ll be ready come Monday,” said Carroll.

BITS FROM NETS PR:

· In the first 431 games of DeMarre Carroll’s career, he was the high scorer three times. He’s been the high scorer in each of the last two games prior to the game against Atlanta.

· In Brooklyn’s eight wins, Carroll has averaged 18.1 points (50.5% FG, 47.9% 3FG) 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 30.9 minutes per game.

· The Nets are 5-1 when Trevor Booker scores 14+ points, 1-9 (now 1-10) in games he scores fewer than 14 points.

· Spencer Dinwiddie has handed out six or more assists in each of his last nine games. The only player with a longer active streak of 6-assist games is James Harden (21 straight).

For a different perspective, head on over to Peachtree Hoops.