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Nets snap 16-game home losing streak with 120-112 win on “Biggie Night”

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NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — I got a story to tell…

Live from Flatbush Avenue, the livest ones were reppin’ BK to the fullest. Knicks fans were out, but the real Brooklyn fans were there to witness a 3-point shootout, as the Nets (12-53) snapped a 16-game HOME losing streak with a 120-112 victory, Sunday on Biggie Smalls night. This is their first win at home since Randy Foye hit the buzzer beater on December 26… their first home win in 2017! Biggie was in the house y’all.

The Nets can hit a lot of threes on any given night. And if you didn’t know, now ya know...

They came out firing , led by Brook Lopez who hit five 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game. No misses. He now has 105 for the season. He hit three total last season. As the game continued, the Nets kept hitting threes and the Knicks couldn’t keep up.

Of course, the law of averages (sorta) came into play and the Nets missed nine of their next 10 3-pointers in the third quarter. The Knicks cut a 23-point deficit down to five in the fourth, but the Nets answered with two 3-pointers to put them back up by nine with four minutes remaining.

Still, the Knicks didn't stop, kept inching closer. Jeremy Lin, who struggled all game, scored seven clutch points when the Nets needed it most. He capped off his big fourth quarter with an and-one to put the Nets up 11. Although he shot just 3-of-14, he scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Call it mini-Linsanity.

In the end, the Nets set a season-high for 3-pointers made (19-of-38). The 3-point tracker goes as followed:

·      Brook Lopez: 6-of-9 (25 points)

·      Quincy Acy: 4-of-4 (12 points)

·      Spencer Dinwiddie: 2-of-2 (nine points)

·      Isaiah Whitehead: 2-of-5 (10 points)

·      Trevor Booker: 2-of-3 (14 points and nine rebounds)

·      Caris LeVert: 2-of-2 (13 points)

·      Jeremy Lin: 1-of-6

Overall, the Nets had perhaps one of their best quarters and halves of the season.

They scored their second-most points in an opening quarter with 39 and matched their largest lead after one, 39-26. Brook Lopez came out and nailed five 3-pointers in the first eight minutes, while the Nets hit 8 of their first 9 3-pointers in the quarter.

They found a 20-point lead in the second quarter (56-36), 67-49 at half, following an incredible 3-point showing. They hit 14-of-20 from deep in the half, which set a franchise record for most threes in a half. They fell TWO short of an NBA record.

Lopez hit five, Quincy Acy hit three, Isaiah Whitehead two, Spencer Dinwiddie two. Caris LeVert and Trevor Booker had one apiece.  Then, after a furious Knick comeback in the second, they turned Lin's heroics in to a much needed win.

"I think we were shooting with a lot of confidence." Lopez said after the game."Our team did a very great job of sharing the ball. It started with the penetration, attacking the basket and that opened a lot of things up for us.

Asked about the home losing streak, Lopez continued. "We weren't really thinking about that. We were just super comfortable getting back home and finally playing on our home court."

He also raved about Lin's leadership.

"It was massive," Lopez said of Lin’s three-pointer. "I can’t really say how big it was. We have unlimited confidence in him and we completely believe in him and he’s paramount to what we do, both offensively and defensively. We had that trust and faith in him."

Kenny Atkinson said that Lin remains on a minutes restriction. "We’re building his minutes up. He’s not up to playing 35 minutes, and he showed some fatigue tonight."

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the unsung hero of the night with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He didn’t get much of the spotlight because he wasn’t hitting threes. No matter.

And his Swing Brother, Caris LeVert, finished with a perfect 4-of-4 overall, 2-of-2 from three along with four assists, four rebounds and a commendation from his head coach. "His activity, his IQ, his defensive IQ is impressive." - Atkinson said.

Post-game, Melo was mostly close-mouthed, but did say, "Biggie Smalls was definitely in full effect in Brooklyn tonight. That’s all I’m going to say. The spirit was here tonight"

As for the loss, he added, "It’s a bad one. That’s all I can say about it. A very bad one."

For more post-game audio, click here.

BIGGIE NIGHT IN BROOKLYN

The Brooklyn Nets honored Notorious B.I.G. throughout the entire game. The Brooklyn legend passed away 20 years ago on March 9. Before the game, Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother, made a speech and said, "Brooklyn we did it."

Then at halftime, Sean "P-Diddy" Combs made a speech and asked the Brooklyn crowd to cheer for 10 seconds instead of holding a moment of silence. Along with that, he said "There is no Biggie without Brooklyn."

Not long after, this happened:

They raised his banner next to Jay-Z’s:

It was a wonderful night for the Nets and Brooklyn.

Next up: Tuesday at home vs. OKC. The snow may be a factor in whether this game is played.