Nets 93, Hawks 80
ATLANTA -- The Brooklyn Nets took it to Atlanta in a 93-80 victory Saturday night, snapping a streak of eight straight losses to the Hawks at Philips Arena dating to Jan. 30, 2009.
The Hawks have lost five of their last six games.
Brook Lopez had 18 points and nine rebounds, Andray Blatche also scored 18 and Deron Williams contributed 17 points for the Nets. Reggie Evans added nine rebounds.
Former Hawks guard Joe Johnson, booed every time he touched the ball, had a quiet night for the Nets with eight points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals.
The Hawks (34-28) jumped out to an 11-1 lead within moments of the opening tip, but the Nets absorbed the punch. Johnson scored the first Nets points that didn't come via foul shots, and Lopez and Evans kept hauling down the rebounds until Brooklyn got some traction, tying the scpre 23-23 after one quarter.
After that, the Hawks' energy took a nose dive. Atlanta didn't have a fast-break basket until there was less than a minute left in the first half. The Nets (37-26) had only four fast-break points in the half but led 51-37.
By the end of the third quarter, the Nets had increased the lead to 76-57 and pumped it up to a 23-point lead as the fourth quarter began.
Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks and Josh Smith scored 12 points. Jeff Teague, scoreless at halftime, had a seven-point spurt the third quarter for his only points. Johan Petro tied his season high with 10 points in the first quarter, then sat on the bench and playing only 14 minutes.
Each team came into the game trying to prevent the other from draining 3-point shots, but fatigue on both sides took care of that from the start. Kyle Korver hit a 3-point shot two minutes into the game to extend to 55 his streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-point basket, but he finished with only seven points.
NOTES: Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back, so Hawks coach Larry Drew and Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo knew they'd need minutes from their bench players. Carlesimo said he played Johnson more minutes than he intended to in Friday's 95-78 home win over the Washington Wizards, although Johnson said his sore left heel was feeling better. And Drew cited the heavy minutes his starters played in their 107-102 overtime road loss to the Boston Celtics. ... Drew started Johan Petro at center for the second straight night as Zaza Pachulia missed a 10th game (fourth consecutive) with a sore right Achilles'. Drew moved Horford to forward to start the game, wanting to match up size-wise with Petro on Lopez and hoping the move would keep Horford out of early foul trouble. ... Evans' eyes were nearly swollen shut before the game, the result of having been inadvertently scratched during Friday's game. He was in the starting lineup nonetheless. ... Drew didn't have to watch too many highlights of Williams's NBA-record nine 3-point shots in the first half of Friday's game (and 11 total) to know that the Hawks would need to do to make it tough on him early. Carlesimo, on the other hand, said, "Hopefully, he saved a couple for us tonight."
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