NBA News Wire
Carroll helps Hawks blitz Nets
NEW YORK — The Atlanta Hawks enjoyed DeMarre Carroll’s production and shooting touch in the first half, but when they watch the film, the defensive effort will likely provide more thrills.
Carroll scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half and the Hawks dominated the Brooklyn Nets during the decisive second quarter of a 98-75 rout Friday night at Barclays Center.
The Hawks extended their winning streak to five games but opened the game trailing 16-10 as they missed nine of their first 13 shots and allowed the Nets to make seven of their first 14. After coach Mike Budenholzer called the first timeout with 4:33 remaining, the Hawks outscored the Nets 88-59 the rest of the way.
“I haven’t watched the film yet,” Atlanta forward Kyle Korver said. “It just felt like we forced them into the shots we wanted them to shoot and we were able to get the rebound and we were able to get out and run.”
During the second quarter, the Hawks outscored the Nets 36-13 in a stretch that was virtually flawless. That included a 14-0 blitz that spanned 4:21 and was highlighted by Carroll hitting two of his career-high tying five 3-pointers and a reverse layup.
“We’ll go back and watch the film and find mistakes,” Budenholzer said. “But I think if we can play with that kind of activity and that kind of effort defensively that’s going to give ourselves a chance to be as good as you just described.”
Atlanta never was threatened again and for good measure Carroll added a 3-pointer with four-tenths of a second remaining in the first half for a 52-31 edge at the break.
“I think we got more excitement off the defensive end,” Carroll said. “We were getting stops, guys were trapping, guys were getting blocks and guys were getting steals. So I think when I was in the game there was more excitement on the defensive end than on the offensive end.”
Carroll shot 7 of 10, making six of his final seven shots. He also added six rebounds and likely would have surpassed his previous season high of 19 points and approached his career high of 24 points if Atlanta did not maintain the rout. Instead he sat with 2:17 remaining in the third and the Hawks holding a 20-point lead.
“He got a good couple good looks and he made a couple end of the (shot) clock,” Budenholzer said. “He had a heckuva night and I think the ways he plays and the energy he plays with he’s capable of doing that. We got a lot of confidence in him shooting and playing. It was great, obviously a big boost for us.”
Forward Paul Millsap added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks, who shot 31 of 68 after the slow start. Point guard Jeff Teague contributed 14 points and five assists, reserve guard Dennis Schroder chipped in 13 as Atlanta reached 100 points for the seventh straight game and 14th time in 18 games this season.
Center Brook Lopez scored 20 points for the Nets, who shot 37.5 percent (30 of 80) and were handed their sixth double-digit loss of the season. Former Atlanta forward Joe Johnson added 12 in his 1,000th career game but point guard Deron Williams was held to eight points and the Nets committed 19 turnovers and were denied their first three-game winning streak of the season while falling to 1-8 against teams with a winning record.
“It really got away from us there and we kind of got away from things we’ve been doing well the past few games.”
After taking the six point lead, the Nets shot 23-of-66 the rest of the game, including 1-of-14 in the decisive second-quarter spurt when Atlanta surged ahead.
“They played good defense but also there were times we made bad decisions,” Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said. “But 19 turnovers wasn’t the game, it’s that we couldn’t score consistently against them.”
NOTES: The Nets had Thursday off from practice, but coach Lionel Hollins spent time on New York sports talk station WFAN discussing the team. His most notable answer pertained to the Nov. 9 comments made by F Joe Johnson about selfish teammates. “When the comments were made, I did talk to him, I talked to the team,” Hollins said. “We’ve had numerous conversations about it. My feeling is every player has the right to his opinion — whether it be right or wrong — but there is a place and a time to do things.” … Among second-year players, G Dennis Schroder ranks first in field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Asked about Schroder’s development, Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said, “He’s really playing well, his confidence has grown. His understanding of both ends of the court has grown a lot. He’s really helped us.”… The Hawks were unable to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor and at least 80 percent from the foul line for the sixth straight game which would have broken the franchise record set in March 1982. It also would have marked the first time any team did in six straight games since the Boston Celtics in March 1990. … Brooklyn F Andrei Kirilenko was inactive for the ninth straight game.
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