The Nets gave Jeremy Lin no chance to exact a measure of revenge in his first game at Barclays Center since his trade to the Hawks. They held Lin to six points in 13 minutes on their way to a 144-127 victory Sunday. It was the Nets’ fifth straight win and their highest-scoring performance this season.
Lately, D’Angelo Russell has spent the end of the fourth quarter on the bench, but he had it going against the Hawks and kept the cushion comfortable with his scoring and playmaking. He led a season-high eight Nets in double figures with 32 points and shot 13-for-19, including a 5-for-9 effort from beyond the arc, with seven assists, six rebounds, two steals and zero turnovers.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson noted that it was the second straight game with 34 assists by an offense that has topped 120 points in three straight games. “That’s high level, making the extra pass, playing with the pass, all the stuff we’ve been preaching,” he said. “We are an aggressive driving team, and that opened things up for our shooting.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 18 points and Joe Harris and Jared Dudley each added 16 for the Nets (13-18), who shot 55.7 percent from the field and 40.0 percent (16-for-40) from three-point range.
John Collins had 29 points, Dewayne Dedmon added 24 points and 12 rebounds and Kent Bazemore had 20 points for the Hawks (6-23).
Russell had 10 points as the Nets took a 24-8 lead that grew to 21 points early in the second period. The Hawks cut it to four before halftime, but Russell scored seven points in a 14-8 run to begin the third quarter that restored a 86-74 cushion. The Nets’ lead never dropped to single digits again. A 14-4 fourth-quarter burst that included a pair of three-pointers by Jared Dudley made it 131-107.
Describing Russell’s play, Atkinson said, “He was just spry . . . energetic. Offensively, he was aggressive, but I thought he was locked in defensively. When D’Angelo is like that, we take it to another level. He was excellent.”
Russell was in clear command against the Hawks. Explaining how the Nets have turned their season around, he said, “I think just our commitment for wanting to see each other do better. Everybody is aggressive at the appropriate time but still wanting to make that extra pass for the next guy, still having your teammate’s back on the defensive end. We’re making those plays.”