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Kenny Atkinson prods Jarrett Allen’s inner ‘tiger’

Thunder forward Paul George shoots between Nets forward

Thunder forward Paul George shoots between Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and center Jarrett Allen during the second half on Jan. 23, 2018. Credit: AP / Sue Ogrocki

MILWAUKEE — Nets rookie center Jarrett Allen has been on the floor at the finish of the Nets’ past three games, including their 116-91 loss to the Bucks on Friday night. Coach Kenny Atkinson cited Allen’s rim protection ability and improved aggressiveness as the reasons behind the move.

“As he told me, he’s working on his consistency,” Atkinson said. “He’s had kind of sporadic energy, which is normal for a young guy, but I think he’s becoming more consistent and more aggressive. I think there’s a tiger in him. He’s a very cerebral guy, very calm, but I do think he has grit . . . He’s definitely not afraid. He’s trying to dunk everything now. It’s great to see.”

Describing his approach, Allen said, “It’s more a conscious effort because it’s me being more comfortable with the game.” Allen had 12 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes in the Nets’ loss.

Dinwiddie down with Nets

Point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is having a breakout season and might attract attention at the trade deadline, but he told WFAN on Wednesday that he prefers to stay.

“I would love to be here long-term,” Dinwiddie said. “I’m fully indebted to Brooklyn . . . My very first impression of Brooklyn was the culture of development. I thought they were very invested in the guys they chose to be a part of that.”

More minutes for Russell

In his first three games back from knee surgery, D’Angelo Russell played just under 15 minutes per game, but he logged 21:18 and scored 14 points with seven turnovers Friday night. “My teammates were setting screens and making it easier for me,” Russell said. “Seeing the ball go through the net is certainly a good feeling, but we’ve got to be better.” . . . Former Net Sean Kilpatrick, who was waived in December, caught on with the Bucks. “Our general manager Jon Horst has been looking at me forever,” Kilpatrick said. “As soon as he had the opportunity to come and get me, he didn’t hesitate at all.”

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