Nets C Brook Lopez was among three Brooklyn players to record a double-double on Saturday en route to a much-needed win over Atlanta.
The Brooklyn Nets host the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the First Round of the playoffs with the hope of tying the series at 2-2.
After falling into the unenviable 2-0 hole to the Hawks on the road in Atlanta, the Nets avoided a sweep with an impressive victory over the Hawks in Game 3. In the first quarter alone, the Nets outscored Atlanta 31-16 and went on an 18-0 scoring run that kept Atlanta off balance the rest of the game en route to their 91-83 win. Three of the Nets starters recorded double-doubles for points and rebounds as F Joe Johnson (a former Atlanta Hawk) recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds, F Thaddeus Young had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and C Brook Lopez had a team-leading 22 points and a team-leading 13 rebounds.
The Hawks uncharacteristically struggled one their 3-point attempts, making just 6-of-30 and going 32-of-90 on FG attempts. Hawks F Paul Millsap played well with a double-double (18 points, 17 rebounds), but C Al Horford and G Kyle Korver combined for just 9 points despite playing over 30 minutes each. Korver’s performance was highlighted by a team-leading five missed three-point attempts along with seven missed FGs – a sharp contrast from his 21-point performance in Game 1 that gave them the 99-92 victory.
Even though the Nets are now behind just 2-1 in the series, historically speaking teams that find themselves in a 0-2 hole to start the series lose 94% of the time. Thus far that trend has continued with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards both sweeping their foes after starting 2-0. It’s not impossible for the Nets to take back control of the series, but All-Star G Deron Williams, who has had a disappointing start to the series, needs to step it up for that to happen.
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks win Game 4 – It’s a lot easier to believe that Kyle Korver will turn the lights back on than to believe that Deron Williams will turn it on for the first time in the entire series.