Kessler Edwards of the Nets dunks the ball during the first...

Kessler Edwards of the Nets dunks the ball during the first quarter against the Thunder at Barclays Center on Thursday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

But the most surprising success story might be forward Kessler Edwards, who made his fifth straight start alongside fellow rookie Day’Ron Sharpe when the Nets faced the Wizards Wednesday night. Edwards finished with 5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in the 119-118 victory.

Edwards has impressed as a solid defender, made an impact on offense and is averaging 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and is shooting 42.9% from three-point range to help make up for the absence of injured Joe Harris.

Edwards had a quirky shooting motion coming out of Pepperdine but has refined his technique with the help of former three-point specialist Kyle Korver.

"I think he has improved his motion by 50%," Nets coach Steve Nash said of Edwards. "He’s really done a great job of making his motion much more streamlined and efficient.

"You don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but there’s no reason to believe that he’s not a capable shooter. The rest of it is great — the size, athleticism, his determination defensively."

Edwards knew some doubted his shooting motion when he reached the NBA, but the Nets and Korver merely tried to help him refine his technique rather than change it completely.

"I have worked with Kyle a little bit, so he’s helped me, making my shot more smooth, taking out a lot of the unnecessary movements I used to do, even just like with my face, telling me to stay relaxed when I shoot so I could be smooth." Edwards said.

Edwards is on a two-way contract that allows him to go back and forth to the G League. But the Nets must upgrade him to a full-time contract to be eligible for the playoffs. "I felt like I’d get a chance later in the season," Edwards said. "I definitely didn’t think I’d be starting and doing all this at this time . . . I’m just proud of myself honestly, thankful for the opportunity."

Injury update

Nic Claxton (left hamstring soreness) sat out his fifth game but is considered day-to-day . . . DeAndre Bembry (back spasms) sat out and will be re-evaluated Friday . . . Paul Millsap (personal reasons) will not join the Nets on the trip . . . Harris (left ankle surgery rehab) has begun light shooting but isn’t ready for intensive work.

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