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Nets squeeze out victory against Dallas on St. Paddy’s Day, 114-106

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — One team is admittedly tanking, one team is not. One has their draft pick, the other does not. Both are in the basement of the NBA standings.

So, we should all feel so lucky on this St. Paddy’s Day that the Nets picked up a much-needed victory over the Dallas Mavericks, 114-106, Saturday night at Barclays Center. The Nets snapped a three-game losing streak and 10-game losing streak against Western coast teams.

The Nets held Dallas to 17 points in the fourth and finally prevailed in another tight game.

“Get stops,” said Atkinson when asked about Brooklyn’s big fourth quarter on the defensive end. “We don’t even talk about the offense, we can’t play up and down because that’s a dangerous way to play especially against a team like this. I just felt like we had to establish our physicality. We got a bunch of turnovers, a bunch of deflections. We definitely picked it up defensively.”

One day after a disappointing loss in Philly, the Nets knew they needed this victory.

“We thought about everything, not going into the locker room talking about what we could’ve done. Our leaders, including myself, we said, ‘Let’s start right now. Let’s get it. Let’s lock in, come out and compete. That’s what we did,” said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

The Nets started the game on an 11-0 run and shot a hair under 50 percent from three in the first half. They led most of the way but took their foot off the pedal and Dallas made them pay with a 9-2 run to close it out, trimming a 10-point deficit down to three at half.

They did the same exact thing against Philadelphia last night, only this time it ended in triumph for the guys in black and white.

They made their push in a tight game early in the fourth. It started with an 12-2 run that gave Brooklyn momentum with a six-point lead. They extended it to a 21-7 run which gave them a 10-point lead with under four minutes left. The Mavericks hung around, but Spencer Dinwiddie hit the dagger with 37 seconds to go up eight.

“We know we gotta do it. Watch film, grow on it and get better from the situation so it doesn’t keep repeating itself. Struggling when it comes down the stretch, just trying to get better at those situations,” Russell said.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the way with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists, followed by D’Angelo Russell who bounced back with 22 points and six assists in 29 minutes. It’s DLo’s third game in the last four with 20 or more points.

DeMarre Carroll stayed solid and nabbed his 12th double double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting. Meanwhile Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Quincy Acy led the bench unit for 32 combined points.

For Dallas, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. led the way with 21 points. Harrison Barnes, J.J. Barea, Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith and Salah Mejiri all sat out.

Excluding the fact that they closed this one out, the most important aspect of Brooklyn’s night was their decision making. They dished out 25 assists on 43 made field goals with just 10 turnovers. They also shot 39 percent from three.

They’re now 22-48 on the season with Memphis coming to town on Monday.

CUNNINGHAM CONCUSSED; CRABBE SICK

The Brooklyn Nets played without two of their stretch players in Dante Cunningham (concussion protocol) and Allen Crabbe (illness). The Nets announced early Saturday that Cunningham was diagnosed with a concussion that was sustained during last night’s game in Philadelphia. Joel Embiid gave him an unintentional whack that kept him out of tonight’s contest. Crabbe, meanwhile, missed his second straight game due to the illness.

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From the NetsDaily crew, we’d like to wish a Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all. If you find that pot of gold or some sort of luck, please send some to Brooklyn!

For a different perspective, head over to Mavs Moneyball.