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THEY WENT TO JARRETT! Behind Allen’s lead, Kyrie-less Nets defeat Hornets, 101-91

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Charlotte Hornets v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Nets went to Jarrett.

Coming off a 29-point loss against the Indiana Pacers, the Nets got a much needed win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, 101-91. They were led by Jarrett Allen, who finished the night with 22 points and 17 rebounds — both season-highs.

“I just thought he was huge,” said Kenny Atkinson after the game. “They went small, they put Marvin (Williams) at the five, and he’s playing that game – do we match him with small? We said, you know what, we’ll stick with JA (Jarrett Allen), and I thought he did two things great. He guarded when we switched, he guarded their smalls, their quick guys, and then he punished them on the other end with his offensive rebounding.”

Entering Wednesday at 5-8 with Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert out, it would be no easy task... or pretty one.

The Nets led by just five after an awfully slow-paced first half. They needed a spark — anything to get them going. Allen came out of the half with nine points in the first five minutes, dominating his match up all night against Cody Zeller, who was contained to just five points and seven rebounds.

“Defense, rebounding, covering for each other and just making the right basketball play,” DeAndre Jordan said after the game. “Whether it’s scoring the basketball, giving it to your teammate – making the extra pass, running into a screen for guys. We have to give ourselves up for each other and then, the game will open up for everybody.”

As Brooklyn tried to capitalize on their nine-point lead, Charlotte chipped away. They went on an 8-2 run and trimmed the deficit down to three with 6:28 left in the game. Then, behind a balanced attack from Brooklyn’s role players, they went up 11 following an 11-3 run, capped off by a Spencer Dinwiddie bucket.

Finally, Joe Harris hit the dagger to go up 12 with 1:33 left.

They entered the match up having lost four of the last five with a generous schedule upcoming, starting with the Hornets tonight, Kings on Friday, Knicks on Sunday and Cavaliers on Monday.

They needed a concerted effort from everybody. Spencer Dinwiddie stepped up, especially in the first half. He finished with 20 points and a season-high eight assists. Taurean Prince stepped up, finishing with 20 points and eight rebounds. And finally, DeAndre Jordan came off the bench and chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds.

The difference? Brooklyn’s defense. They saw contributions from the role players who needed to step up, but the only way they win this game is behind the defensive prowess. They held Charlotte to 37.5 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers. They’ve struggled all year defending bigs, but kept Cody Zeller in check with five points, and Bismack Biyombo with 10 off the bench.

“I thought it was a solid four quarters. Didn’t have the big lapses. I thought our defense was outstanding. Offensively, we are going to have to find something there where we were just really struggling. I think it’s five, six, seven games now,” Atkinson said after the game.

A win is a win. For Brooklyn, there’s still so much they can learn from this game, but you take the positives and learn from the negatives. Take the win and focus on Friday’s game. For a depleted team, they’re weathering the storm at 2-1 since Kyrie Irving went down with a shoulder injury.

How do they keep this consistency? Ask Taurean Prince.

“Just keeping a good mindset, playing quarter by quarter, not getting too ahead of ourselves, not getting too down on ourselves when certain things go wrong or when we face adversity – just continue to do what we do and stick to our game plan”

Click here for post-game audio.

KYRIE UPDATE

“I don’t think it’s a long-term thing, [but] I wouldn’t say we’re being over-cautious. He has a situation that’s prevented him from playing,” Atkinson said before the game. “This a collaborative thing. We’ve talked about it before. This is the best course of action. Do I think it’s a long-term thing? No. I don’t think he can play through it right now quite honestly.

“That’s where we are, and we’ll see where that goes. He’s working on it with our performance team, working to get well. … The shoulder is just sensitive, especially for a point guard, like a quarterback. The way he shoots it, passing, the whole thing. He’s working through it right now, and we’ve got to work through not having him quite honestly.”

DNP’s

With Jarrett Allen (22 and 17 in 27 minutes) and DeAndre Jordan (14 and 7 in 20 minutes) dominating Charlotte’s bigs, Kenny Atkinson gave both Nicolas Claxton and Rodions Kurucs the night off. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot was activated for the game, his second straight. He did not play.

A HIGHER LEVEL OF DANCER

The Nets bench dancing is back! Although the dancers, who last night included Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, have bigger paychecks, they need help in creativity. Still, the leader of the mob and inventor or “The Swim” approves.

NEW THING

Times change and new team traditions emerge. Witness: DeAndre Jordan’s greetings, all of it customized.

DISTRACTIONS?

We may only be 14 games into the season, but there have been an awful amount of distractions off the court. This goes from ownership down — the China debacle down to the players. You have to ask, is this affecting the team? Everybody is human and deals with things different.

Here’s a few:

  • CHANDLER:

Chandler was suspended 25 games for PED usage on August 29. The Nets could really use him right about now, and he still has 11 games to serve.

  • DINWIDDIE:

According to Shams Charania, the NBA and its outside counsel informed Spencer Dinwiddie that his planned cyber investment vehicle, first revealed September 17, is in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement but the Nets guard appears ready to press the issue. If he does go ahead, Charania reports, the league could impose strict sanctions on Dinwiddie, specifically citing the possibility of fines, suspension or even termination of his contract. Any sort of suspension would hurt the team and any money lost on this would be a huge hit to him.

  • KURUCS:

An argument between Kurucs and his then-girlfriend spiraled out of control, leading the Nets’ forward to grab a knife and threaten, “I am going to kill myself.” The incident took place in late June, the arrest in early September. Kurucs was back in court on Tuesday and will be back for trial on January 8. The date was set early Tuesday after a hearing in which Kurucs lawyer once again complained that the prosecution hasn’t provided state’s evidence to the defense.

FROM THE VAULT

Nets-Hornets always brings up memories of the beloved New Jersey Nets and their short-lived rivalry against Baron Davis and the Charlotte Hornets. The following video is from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals series in which Jason Kidd posted 21 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a 99-93 Nets win.

New Jersey won the series in five games, later leading to an NBA Finals appearance (and loss) against the Los Angeles Lakers.

For a different perspective, head on over to At the Hive, our Hornets sister site on SB Nation.

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Next up: Kings at Nets, Friday at 7:30 PM ET.