Joe Harris D'Angelo Russell
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

D’Angelo Russell and the Brooklyn Nets have put together a five-game winning streak with their 144-127 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Collin Loring

Now just two games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets are on a five-game winning streak.

D’Angelo Russell scored 32 and dished 7 assists to lift the Nets over the lifeless Atlanta Hawks, who fall to 6-23 and 15th in the conference.

Brooklyn won 144-127, which marks the most points they’ve ever scored at Barclays Center, and second most in franchise history.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored a season-high 18 points, Joe Harris scored 16, and Rodion Kurucs scored 11 in just his second start of the year.

Brooklyn’s depth was on full display. Jared Dudley scored 16 off the bench, with both Spencer Dinwiddie and DeMarre Carroll scoring 15 in the second unit.

Recap

Brooklyn developed a 21-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Nets shot 7-14 from deep and collected 12 dimes in what may have been best first quarter this season.

A sloppy second quarter from Brooklyn likely put fans on edge, as the Hawks cut the Nets lead down to six after two quarters.

But a 39-point third quarter lead by D’Angelo Russell and Ed Davis put the lead back at 15 entering the fourth.

Brooklyn got to 100 points by the three minute mark in the third, marking the first time in franchise history they’ve done so in three straight games.

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The D’Angelo Russell show wouldn’t stop in the third, as he recorded a nine-point fourth quarter to put the game away.

Brooklyn finished with a season-high in points scored (144) and assists (34). Eight players finished in double-figures, and five finished with four or more assists.

They lead from start to finish, earning their first five-game winning streak since the 2014-15 season.

What really stood out to me watching the game was Brooklyn’s ability to finish in the paint. It was a clinic.

Between Hollis-Jefferson, Dinwiddie, and even Joe Harris; Atlanta had no answer for Brooklyn in the post. There may be something to that, in terms of relativity to success.

Teams know head coach Kenny Atkinson has given his club the ‘green light’ when it comes to firing three-pointers. The Nets are shooting 35.4 percent from deep, 12th best league-wide.

It makes it that much harder to defend them when they’ve got a five-man lineup of shooters on the floor. Brooklyn is currently the 5th ranked team in three-pointers made, at 12.1 per game.

Brooklyn Nets

On the other hand, despite a dominating performance, it’s clear the Nets defense isn’t sound as a team.

A big part of Russell’s game this season is his continuing improvements on that end of the ball. But it doesn’t seem to be translating across the locker room.

Brooklyn gave up 127 points to the Atlanta Hawks, who rank 22nd in both points and field goals made per game. If this team has any hopes of battling for that eighth seed and breaching the postseason, they’ve got to improve on defense.


Still, a five-game winning streak is a five-game winning streak. The Nets are alive and thriving, recovering well after losing Caris LeVert.

Brooklyn will look to make it six straight on Tuesday when they host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm est.

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