Nets win nail-biter against Hawks to extend winning streak to 10

The Brooklyn Nets held onto a one point lead in a 108-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, currently giving them the longest winning streak in the league with ten wins.

The Brooklyn Nets came into Wednesday's game after a 125- 117 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers where Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 64 points with Durant and Irving each putting up 32 points. The Nets have been unstoppable over the past month and this years’ Nets team may be a special squad come playoff time if they are able to keep this momentum, having gone from 10th place to 2nd place in the Eastern Conference in a matter of only a month. 

It’s all thanks to the firepower that the Nets have behind them with Durant and Irving at the helm, along with the rest of the players on the team getting adjusted to their roles. The Nets have won 14 of their last 15 games over the last month and have won their 10th straight game tonight, which makes it the 6th time in franchise history that the Nets have won at least 10 games in a row. 

“To be honest, I think my teammates did a great job boxing [out] and I was just reaping the benefits of that and I was able to hit my man a couple times and just be in the right spot and glad I was able to help out on the boards,” Durant said

Irving led in scoring tonight with 28 points, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter alone while shooting 5-of-11 from the 3-point range. Durant had a great game on the scoring and rebounding end, with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Nic Claxton played significantly well, scoring 17 points while shooting 8 of 9 and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Durant also had this to say in regards to Irving’s dominant performance in the fourth quarter tonight: 

“It’s always fun. So many people love what Kyrie brings to the table but in the fourth quarter that’s really his time. We sit back and let him go to work and he made big shot after big shot,” Durant said. 

John Collins’ 21 points and Dejounte Murray’s 24 points were not enough to take down the Nets as they were without Clint Capela, DeAndre Hunter, and Trae Young, who were out due to injuries.

Both teams battled it out in the first quarter, with neither team able to secure a comfortable lead throughout the quarter. Both the Hawks and Nets clawed at each other and chopped down any lead that either team had, but the Nets were able to head into the second quarter up 31 to 30 thanks to a driving layup by Durant to end the quarter. 

The Hawks were able to pick it up in the second quarter, getting in the shots that they needed to give themselves a large lead and dictated the pace. Hawks’ forward Jalen Johnson was able to give the team momentum early in the second quarter scoring 7 points in a 15 to 0 Hawks run over the Nets.

 However, Nets’ guard Patty Mills was able to keep the Nets alive as the second quarter wore on, making back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to single digits. His 12 points in the second quarter left the Nets trailing 56 to 63 heading into halftime. 

Neither team could gain a lead larger than 4 points as both the Hawks and Nets fought tooth and nail in the third quarter. A small run by the Nets early in the third quarter kept them right behind the Hawks but could not acquire a lead throughout most of the quarter. The Nets kept their composure despite being behind, and kept attacking on offense. Late in the third quarter, a tough inside shot by Yuta Watanabe along with a pair of free-throws by Durant helped give the Nets a 3 point lead heading into the final quarter up 83 to 80. 

Irving was dominant in the fourth quarter, scoring 8 points early on in a 10 to 2 Nets run to give them a 93 to 82 lead with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.  The Hawks were able to bounce back by attacking the inside and the mid-range to cut their deficit down to a 3 point Nets lead. 5 points scored by Irving gave the Nets a comfortable 8 point lead with five minutes remaining, but the Hawks kept the Nets on their toes as they kept scoring in the perimeter and inched closer towards the lead. 

A 25-foot three pointer by Aaron Holiday tied the game up at 104, with Durant taking back the lead with a pull-up jump shot. While a close shot by John Collins tied the game up again, Durant silenced the Hawks crowd with a pull-up jumpshot from 17 feet to put the score at 108. 

The Hawks had multiple opportunities to tie the game or take the lead, but Hawks’ shooting guard Dejounte Murray could not get it done as he only made one of his two free-throws and missed a potential game winning 3-pointer to give the Nets a close win.

The Nets hope to hold on to this winning streak and continue to play well as they head out to play the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.