clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spencer Dinwiddie saves the day yet again as Nets take down Hawks, 122-112

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

That tech guy is an All-Star.

That “tech guy” or should I say — All-Star — is Spencer Dinwiddie.

The perfect metaphor for this game happened in the final minute, when DeAndre Jordan went to slam home a mean one-handed dunk, which would’ve given the Nets a 10-point lead. Everybody was so sure it would go in, Brooklyn’s PA announcer began yelling his name!

What I’m trying to say is that it was ugly beyond belief... for the first three quarters. Then Dinwiddie had enough..

Dinwiddie scored 39 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists. It’s the third straight game in which he’s scored 30+ points. He’s also scored 20+ points in 16 of the 18 games he’s started. Furthermore, he’s scored 24+ points in seven straight games — the first Net since Vince Carter did so in the 2006-2007 season. Over the past three games, Dinwiddie’s averaging 37 points a game. THIRTY-SEVEN!

But all those stats aside, he dropped 16 in the fourth and the Nets took a 37-14 advantage in the final 12 minutes, finishing the game with a 122-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks, Saturday evening at Barclays Center.

The Nets trailed 87-69 when they made their run in the third quarter. Dinwiddie had five fouls at that point, so Kenny Atkinson went with his veterans: DeAndre Jordan, Joe Harris, Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler. It worked.

“We were debating on whether to put him back in,” said Kenny Atkinson of his star point guard. “And then we felt like the game was in the balance and we put him in and obviously got him off of Trae (Young) and got him off the ball, but we needed every minute he had tonight. Again, a fantastic job getting downhill,. I thought he had a couple of really good plays with the pass decision, too.”

Then, back came the Nets... and Dinwiddie.

They held Atlanta scoreless for the first five minute of the fourth, with Jordan finishing off a MEAN one-handed alley-oop pass from Dinwiddie. It was a 14-0 run for Brooklyn, 99-98 lead.

Dinwiddie hit the layup to cap off the 14-0 run, then extended it to a 23-4 run — six-point lead. After that, it was Dinwiddie vs. Trae Young. Dinwiddie and the Nets led by two when Dinwiddie took Young on a drive, got the foul and converted on the bucket to go up five with 2:47 left.

“Sometimes whenever a team is on a run, it’s hard to kill that momentum, especially when the crowd is into it, “ said Trae Young. “We just couldn’t get a bucket to fall to stop their run.”

Joe Harris (17 points) came up with a steal and finished an and-one on the other side, then Dinwiddie ended the night with a layup to go up by eight with 1:13 left.

Dinwiddie wasn’t the only one putting up big numbers. Jordan was a monster on the glass. grabbed 20 rebounds — the 60th game in his career in which he’s grabbed 20 boards. He added 12 points and four assists.

For Atlanta, they played a solid three quarters behind 47 points from Trae Young. He was 14-of-30 from the field and 16-of-19 from the free throw line. As a team, they shot just 37 percent from the field.

“He’s a scorer. He knows how to score. He’s tough whenever he gets going. Yeah, he just knows how to score for sure,” Young said of Dinwiddie.

“It’s fun – obviously it’s important being able to win and fortunately we were able to do that. He played a great game though,” Dinwiddie said of Young.

The Nets are 16-13 on the season and 12-6 in Kyrie Irving’s absence. They defeated the worst team in the East, and it wasn’t pretty. But as I’ve emphasized so often in these recaps: It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just get the win any way you possibly can.

Reinforcements are on the way.

KOBE IN THE BUILDING

Kobe Bryant brought his daughter, Gigi, to the game (and stayed till the end). He sat next to Clara Wu Tsai, Joe’s wife...

Post game, he spoke with the Nets lead guards... both of whom idolized him growing up.

And Adam Zagoria reports, Kyrie arranged for Kobe to meet with the Patrick School basketball team. Patrick School is the Nets guard’s alma mater. They’re participating in the Kyrie Invitational Monday at Barclays Center. Patrick is ranked No. 3 in the country.

REPLACING NWABA

Don’t expect any quick signing to replace David Nwaba who’s out for the year with a torn right Achilles. Instead, expect Kenny Atkinson to give minutes to players already on the roster.

First off the bench Saturday were Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, the Nets two-way, and Rodions Kurucs who’s been in and out of the lineup, up and down from Long Island.

Kurucs scored six straight points, all off assists from DeAndre Jordan. Those were his only points of the night, his only shots in fact. He wound up playing 11 minutes.

Meanwhile, Luwawu-Cabarrot played 19 minutes, but didn’t score. He was 0-of-1. He added an assist.

Kenny Atkinson said that he visited Nwaba at the Hospital for Special Surgery, described him as being in “good spirits.”

FROM EARLIER

MUSA GETTING WORK IN

Those who peered down at the Barclays Center practice court immediately after the game would have seen Dzanan Musa working on his shot. While youngsters played pick-up at one end of the court, the Nets swingman was firing up 3-pointers at the other, helped by a basketball operations staffer. Judging by his gear, he hadn’t even showered yet...

Musa didn’t play on Saturday as Kenny Atkinson decided to go with his vets. Over the last five games, the 6’9” guard-forward has played only eight minutes, including two DNP-CD’s.

FAREWELL, VC

This might be the last time we ever see Vince Carter play at the Nets. He’ll go down as one of the best in franchise history. He was electric and I can still hear the “V-C-THREEEE!” in my head. He’s a huge part of Nets history, and should be treated as so.

  • 3rd for most points in Nets franchise history
  • 3x All-Star
  • 3 playoff appearances

Thanks for making Nets basketball fun, Vince.

For a different perspective on the game, head on over to Peachtree Hoops, our Hawks sister site on SB Nation.

***

NEXT UP: Knicks at Nets on Thursday. In the meantime, Happy Holidays.