Moke Hamilton, SNYNets.com

Barclays Center

As the game's final meaningless seconds ticked from eight to seven and six to five, the Brooklyn Nets had announced to the city of the New York that it would be a laughingstock no more. In the end, for Carmelo Anthony and his Knicks, 35—the amount of points he scored—wasn't the most memorable number.

Instead, it was six—the amount of free throws he missed. His New York Knicks defeated, for Anthony, the talk afterward wasn't what went right, but what went wrong.

Two days later in Boston, after Kris Humphries was needlessly and flagrantly attacked by Rajon Rondo and the Nets lost two-fifths of its starting lineup due to the ensuing ejections, they collaborated and persevered, holding on to defeat a Boston Celtics team that fought in vain to avenge the Nets Nov. 15 victory over them in Brooklyn.

Indeed, Brooklyn has become a chant.

But more importantly, right before our very eyes, Brooklyn has become a team.

Depth. Balance. Leadership. Cohesion.

At 11-4, finally, it's time to wake up and stop sleeping on Brooklyn.

The Nets, winners of five straight games, will challenge the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat in their American Airlines Arena on Saturday night. And the last time the Nets played there, they were soundly defeated, 103-73.

In the 12 games since then, though, the Nets have evolved. The 10 victories during that stretch is no aberration.

The porous perimeter has been plugged and entering play Friday night, the Nets were allowing opponents to score just 90.7 point per game—first in the NBA.

The team has shown patience and cohesion on the offensive end, despite the shooting struggles of the two top guns, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.

Brook Lopez—the once considered clumsy and immobile center that couldn't rebound—became an interior force, averaging 2.9 blocks per game while shooting 56 percent from the field.

Gerald Wallace has returned and has played with his normal reckless abandon, inspiring his teammates on both ends of the floor.

Andray Blatche, C.J. Watson and Jerry Stackhouse have gone from forgotten, taken for granted, and dismissed to being rejuvenated, respected, and remembered.

In the era of the super team, a solid eight man rotation is a requisite for supremacy. The first four off of the bench—Watson, Blatche, Stackhouse and Reggie Evans—have their individual roles. They each play their respective positions and they play them well. Together, the Nets are a greater sum than they are individually.

Still, the Nets have faults. Joe Johnson continues to struggle and the team seems to lack a killer instinct.

But these Nets—the Brooklyn Nets—is no longer the transient franchise we've grown accustomed to seeing since Bruce Ratner, on his 59th birthday, won the right to purchase the team for $300 million.

Brooklyn was the goal. A competitive team was the dream.

Now, we're here.

The Nets are a new team. Re-branded. Relocated. Re-rostered.

Five players returned from last season's team—six if you count Keith Bogans, who played just five games for the club last season before being released. 60 percent is a majority and 60 percent of this roster is new.

The 12-70 Nets were a long time ago. And those that stick to the stubborn proclamations that say the Nets are not a team to be taken seriously simply haven't been paying close enough attention.

Those critics, certainly, haven't crossed the Brooklyn Bridge recently. Clearly, they haven't taken the Long Island Railroad to Atlantic Terminal, and no, they've never entered Barclays Center from the Dean Street entrance.

Strength of schedule aside, the Nets haven't won games because opponents have laid down. The Nets have won games because they're a solid basketball team. These Nets are no fluke.

And whether or not the Nets win in Miami on Saturday night is immaterial. In the NBA, teams make hay by beating those they are supposed to beat, and the Heat do not yet qualify as a team that the Nets are "supposed" to beat.

Regardless of what happens on Saturday night, the NBA season is long and strenuous. Good wins, bad losses, mediocre efforts. From Dec. 1 to April 1, we'll see it all; four months of hills and valleys, just like any NBA team.

And like any other NBA team, the Nets aren't perfect. But what they are is balanced. Aside from the center position, the Nets are two deep everywhere else and all players in its rotation can—and have—led them to victory over the course of this young season.

They're not the most talented, but they are deep.

They're not yet universally respected, but they should be.

Before it's all said and done, they will be.

A tough stretch awaits, especially as the Nets await the return of Brook Lopez. Prior to suffering a ligament sprain in his right foot, Lopez was putting it all together. Uninterrupted forays into the paint became blocked shots at the rim and needless turnovers in the post became converted free-throws.

Lopez became an anchor for the Nets and the team will be tested in his absence. But at full strength, even if the Nets haven't yet proven that they're championship contenders, they have proven that they're worthy of universal respect.

Brooklyn smelled the coffee long ago—long before me. The borough has been awake. Now, it's time for the rest of the league to catch up.

Oh yes, Brooklyn has become a chant, but more importantly Brooklyn has become a team.

good team.

Dawn approaches. Brooklyn is awake. It's about time everyone else catches up.

Follow @SNYNets on Twitter to stay up to date with all happenings on the Brooklyn Nets and all updates on SNYNets.com

Tags: avery johnson, Barclays Center, brook lopez, Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn Nets 2012-2013 NBA Season, Brooklyn Nets Better Than New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets SNY Blog, Columns, Josh Newman SNYNets.com, Kris Humphries Brooklyn Nets, Moke Hamilton SNY, Moke Hamilton SNYNets.com, NBA Brooklyn Nets News, NBA Brooklyn Nets News and Rumors, SNY Brooklyn Nets Blog, Moke Hamilton
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Team Giannis guard D'Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against Team Lebron forward Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Team Giannis guard D'Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against Team Lebron forward Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Nets guard D'Angelo Russell scored six points for Team Giannis in a 178-164 loss to Team LeBron in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday at Spectrum Center.

Russell, who took the spot of the injured Victor Oladipo, also recorded three assists and one rebound in 12 minutes.

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Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris in the 3-Point Contest during the NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris in the 3-Point Contest during the NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

The Brooklyn Nets continue to surprise this season. 

Nets guard Joe Harris defeated Warriors' All-Star Stephen Curry to win the NBA Three-Point Contest on Saturday in Charlotte during All-Star Weekend. 

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Feb 15, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; U.S. Team center Jarrett Allen of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after the All-Star Rising Stars game at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 15, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; U.S. Team center Jarrett Allen of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after the All-Star Rising Stars game at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

For one night only, Nets teammates Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs were on opposite sides. 

Allen represented Team USA in its 161-144 victory Friday night over Team World in the NBA Rising Stars game as part of the league's All-Star weekend, while Kurucs, a native of Latvia, scored 10 points the World squad.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
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Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) celebrates against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) celebrates against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Nets were in a nip-and-tuck affair with the lowly Cavaliers all night Wednesday, but after three overtimes Brooklyn was finally able to come away with a 148-139 victory in Cleveland. The 148 points the Nets scored are tied for the second-most they've ever scored in a game, and are the most they've ever scored in a road game. >> Box score

Things to know about Wednesday's game

1) When the Nets took a 135-131 lead with 3:08 remaining in the third overtime, that marked their largest lead of the game. D'Angelo Russell hit a 3-pointer to give them that lead before extending it to eight with two consecutive buckets. Russell, who will head to Charlotte for this weekend's All-Star Game, took over at the end of the game as he scored 14 of his 36 points in the third overtime, going 6-for-6 from the field in the final period after struggling earlier in the game.

Russell was 5-for-18 with 12 points in 29 regulation minutes. He then went 8-for-12 with 24 points in 12 overtime minutes to ensure Brooklyn (30-29) took a winning record into the break.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll
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Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) points during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) points during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

For the last two months, the Brooklyn Nets have drawn notice in a positive light due to their turnaround and emergence into the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Even with a solid last two months, recent results show the Nets are slightly staggering toward the All-Star break.

They hope to head into the break with a winning record Wednesday night when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers, who entered Tuesday with the NBA's third-worst record (12-45).

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, D'Angelo Russell
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Feb 11, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) shoots for a basket against Toronto Raptors in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Feb 11, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) shoots for a basket against Toronto Raptors in the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The Nets put up a fight against the Raptors but ultimately fell short Monday in a 127-125 loss in Toronto after the game was tied 92-92 through three quarters. The Nets (29-29) have lost five of their last six games. >> Box score

Things to know about Monday's game

1) Kawhi Leonard hit a game-winning bank shot for Toronto with 4.2 seconds left roughly 30 seconds after Danny Green hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 125-125. Leonard finished with 30 points and eight assists. 

Tags: Allen Crabbe, D'Angelo Russell, Toronto Raptors
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Oct 10, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) dunks the ball during the first quarter against the Toronto Raptors at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Oct 10, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) dunks the ball during the first quarter against the Toronto Raptors at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

When the Brooklyn Nets visit the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, it will be a meeting of teams that are making adjustments on the fly.

Marc Gasol, obtained in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, will be playing his second game for Toronto.

Meanwhile, the Nets are working in two players returning from injury -- Caris LeVert and Allen Crabbe. >> Read More

 

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Jan 14, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots the ball in the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports  (Wendell Cruz)
Jan 14, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots the ball in the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

With 10:39 to go in the second quarter Friday, Caris LeVert entered the game for his first NBA action in nearly three months. Barclays Center rose to its feet, with a couple of his Nets teammates cheering along. What followed was a couple of stints that reminded Nets fans what they missed in LeVert, largely considered their best prospect earlier this season. 

But beyond this limited stretch in his first game back, LeVert's return means much more, a huge addition to a Brooklyn team that's fighting for its first postseason berth in a few years.

"I thought he looked good; he looked athletic," Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said following Brooklyn's 125-106 loss to the Bulls. "He was active pushing the ball, getting downhill like he does, making passes."

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie
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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

The lowly Chicago Bulls have won just 13 games this season and their latest victory came against the Brooklyn Nets in an astounding 125-106 upset at Barclays Center on Friday night. Brooklyn's rough loss came after the Nets defeated the Nuggets on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) The Nets completely fell apart at the start of the fourth quarter, when comeback victories have normally been the team's Achilles heel this season. Brooklyn was down 18 points with sloppy plays and shoddy passing diminishing chances of a comeback with 8:09 left in the fourth quarter. A quiet Kenny Atkinson watched on the sidelines as the Bulls, the third-worst team in the Eastern Conference, pulled ahead.

Tags: Chicago Bulls, D'Angelo Russell
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Oct 19, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) goes to the basket against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 19, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) goes to the basket against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

When an injured player returns from a lengthy absence, teams often look at it as adding a player via a trade-deadline acquisition.

For the Brooklyn Nets, that player is Caris LeVert.

LeVert will return from missing nearly three months with a right foot injury Friday night when the Nets host the Chicago Bulls

Tags: Chicago Bulls
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Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert goes to the basket during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert goes to the basket during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

Nets guard Caris LeVert will return for Friday's game against the Chicago Bulls after suffering a gruesome injury in November that elicited thoughts and prayers from numerous NBA players.

LeVert, who has not played since suffering a dislocated foot on Nov. 12, avoided surgery and suffered only minor ligament damage, and Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said the team would ease him back into the lineup.

"My feeling is let's just build him up from a physical standpoint," Atkinson said, according to the Associated Press. "From a basketball technical standpoint, I think it's going to take some time quite honestly until he catches his rhythm. I can't tell you how long that's going to be. The most important thing is he's right physically, and we'll build up the basketball part."

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Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell picks up a pass in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell picks up a pass in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)

D'Angelo Russell now knows who his teammates will be at the NBA All-Star Game next weekend.

The Nets guard was selected Thursday night by Giannis Antetokounmpo during the All-Star draft. Russell will be making his first All-Star appearance, having replaced injured Pacers star Victor Oladipo.

After the starters were drafted, Team Giannis took Russell in the fifth round of the reserves portion of the draft. Russell was taken before LaMarcus Aldridge Nikola VucevicKarl-Anthony TownsKyle Lowry, and Bradley Beal

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Feb 3, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Greg Monroe (15) looks on against the Los Angeles Clippers at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Clippers 121-103. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Feb 3, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Greg Monroe (15) looks on against the Los Angeles Clippers at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Clippers 121-103. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The Nets made one move prior to Thursday afternoon's NBA trade deadline, acquiring Greg Monroe and a 2021 second-round pick from the Raptors, according to multiple reports.

But Monroe apparently won't be a Net for long. According to The Athletic, Monroe will waived by Brooklyn, which will reportedly send Toronto cash considerations. Monroe signed a one-year deal with the Raptors last summer worth more than $2.1 million.

Tags: Toronto Raptors
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The Brooklyn Nets have been a pleasant surprise in the NBA this season. Seen as a team looking on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Nets find themselves in sixth place in the East (29-27), just a few hours before the NBA's trade deadline. 

The Nets' success has transformed them from a seller at the trade deadline to a possible buyer. Entering Monday's meeting, Brooklyn has gone 20-8 in its last 28 games and is fresh off of a successful January that saw the team post an 11-4 record and the fourth-best defensive rating (106.9 points allowed per 100 possessions) in the NBA.

The franchise has several paths it can pivot to as the deadline approaches...

Tags: Allen Crabbe, D'Angelo Russell, Kristaps Porzingis, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Feb 4, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) controls the ball against Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill (3) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 4, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) controls the ball against Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill (3) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After losing three straight games, their longest losing streak in two months, the Nets bounced back Wednesday with a 135-130 win over the Nuggets, who currently hold the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Nets won their 29th game, surpassing last season's win total 56 games into the season. >> Box score

Things to know about Wednesday's game

1) As has often been the case this season, D'Angelo Russell led the way for Brooklyn by putting up 27 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. He shot 10-for-23 from the field including 6-for-9 from 3-point range. The All-Star guard's double-double was his sixth of the season, which is a career-high. This marked the second time in his career Russell had at least 25 points and 10 assists; he did it on Jan. 23 against the Magic.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Denver Nuggets
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

The Brooklyn Nets struggled to contain Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and for the first time in two months, they are on a three-game losing streak.

Brooklyn's next task is to contain Nikola Jokic on Wednesday night when they host the Denver Nuggets in a matchup of banged-up teams.

The Nets (28-27) are on their first three-game losing streak since dropping eight straight from Nov. 21-Dec 5. They went 20-6 in 26 games before the skid began with a 117-114 loss at San Antonio on Thursday.

Tags: Denver Nuggets
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 (NELSON CHENAULT)
(NELSON CHENAULT)

Nets SG Joe Harris' sharp-shooting will be put to the test during All-Star Weekend, as he will represent Brooklyn in the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest on Feb. 16. 

The contest expands to 10 players this year, and Harris will be going up against some of the best pure shooters in the game. Here is the field:

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE OTHER PARTICIPANTS

Tags: Joe Harris
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Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson reacts during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson reacts during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the cold-shooting Brooklyn Nets 113-94 on Monday night.

The injury-depleted Nets missed 19 of their first 20 3-point attempts, making it another easy night for the team with the NBA's best record. Brooklyn finished 5 for 42 (11.9 percent) behind the arc.

Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points and Eric Bledsoe had 15 for the Bucks, who won their fourth straight, all by double digits.

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks
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Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert passes the ball against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert passes the ball against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Nets are hopeful Caris LeVert can return before the All-Star break after he suffered a dislocated foot in November, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and the 24-year-old guard is making significant progress.

LeVert, who has not played since suffering a gruesome injury on Nov. 12, will soon return to 5-on-5 practice and will practice with Brooklyn's G League affiliate in Long Island on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

"This is good timing ... it doesn't have to be 40 minutes, (but) it's going to be a big boost for us," Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said, according to the New York Post's Brian Lewis.

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Jan 9, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (20) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 9, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives against Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins (20) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

For the first time in over a month, the Brooklyn Nets are on a losing streak.

Now they get an opportunity to break it against the best team in the league.

After losses in San Antonio and Orlando, the Nets host the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson looks on during the first half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. (Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson looks on during the first half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. (Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports)

Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Evan Fournier added 16 points and the Orlando Magic beat the Brooklyn Nets 102-89 on Saturday night.

Aaron Gordon added 15 points for Orlando, which won its second straight. Jonathan Isaac had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and D.J. Augustin added 12 points and eight assists.

D'Angelo Russell had 23 points for Brooklyn, which has lost three of four. Shabazz Napier had 15 points and Ed Davis was the only other Net in double figures with 11.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Orlando Magic
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Nov 9, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) controls the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Nov 9, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) controls the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Orlando center Nikola Vucevic learned he was going to be a first-time All-Star on Thursday, then celebrated with his third straight double-double in a Magic victory.

His numbers were rather routine for him -- 17 points, 10 rebounds -- but the 107-100 home victory over the Indiana Pacers was something of a rarity for Orlando, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

Vucevic and the Magic (21-31) will wrap up a three-game homestand Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets.

Tags: Orlando Magic
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Dec 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

D'Angelo Russell is the engine behind the Nets' resurgence to playoff contention, and after initially missing out, his efforts are now being recognized with a trip to play with the league's best players.

The NBA on Friday announced that the Brooklyn guard was selected by commissioner Adam Silver as a reserve for the All-Star Game, the first time the 22-year-old has been selected as an All-Star. Russell is replacing Indiana's Victor Oladipo, who suffered a season-ending knee injury. 

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Jan 31, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) grabs a rebound as San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) defends during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Jan 31, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) grabs a rebound as San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) defends during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Derrick White scored a career-high 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Brooklyn 117-114 on Thursday night, their 16th straight win at home over the Nets.

Fresh off his seventh All-Star selection, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points, including a critical three-point play in the final minute, and 13 rebounds for the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan added 15 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a three-game absence because of a sore left knee.

After failing to make the All-Star Game as a reserve, D'Angelo Russell pressed his case to replace injured selection Victor Oladipo. Russell had 25 points, nine assists and four turnovers in 33 minutes for Brooklyn.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, San Antonio Spurs
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Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) points during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) points during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The NBA All-Star reserves were released for both conferences on Thursday night, and the East didn't have Nets standout D'Angelo Russell among them.

Instead, the East reserves include Raptors PG Kyle Lowry, Pacers SG Victor Oladipo, Pistons F Blake Griffin, Magic C Nikola Vucevic, Bucks SG Khris Middleton, Sixers PG Ben Simmons, and Wizards SG Bradley Beal. 

But, before Nets fans start to freak out, there is still a chance Russell suits up during All-Star Weekend with Oladipo out for the rest of the season. 

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Jan 17, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 17, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

San Antonio is riding a three-game winning streak built on impressive offensive production when it hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday at the AT&T Center.

But the Spurs shouldn't expect rays-of-sunshine accolades from venerable coach Gregg Popovich.

The Spurs have received just the opposite, especially in the minutes following their 126-124 win over hapless Phoenix on Tuesday. Popovich fumed about his team's play and said it was "fortunate to win the game."

Tags: San Antonio Spurs
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When D'Angelo Russell was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, head coach Kenny Atkinson had the biggest development task of his career. Not because Russell wasn't skilled, rather the fact that he was the lottery pick the Nets never had. This was his chance to develop somebody with serious potential. Somebody who fit the script of what Atkinson needed. Somebody who has high character but also has a chip on their shoulder. 

Somebody who could challenge Atkinson to be as great as he challenges those around him. 

And for Russell, he got a coach who could challenge him to become great and push his limits -- the intangible things you don't see that separate a good player and a great player. Things that categorize players as one who can buy into something special versus becoming a glorified journeyman. 

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Nets get their 28th win 00:00:51
The Brooklyn Nets have already matched their win total from last season. Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen react to the news.

NEW YORK (AP) D'Angelo Russell scored 30 points, Shabazz Napierhad 24 off the bench and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 122-117 on Tuesday night for their ninth straight win at home.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 18 points and Joe Harris had 17 for the Nets, who have won 13 of their last 14 at Barclays Center and seven of eight overall.

Brooklyn started slow in the first quarter, shooting just 8 for 29 from the field, after losing at Boston on Monday night. >> Read more

Tags: Chicago Bulls, D'Angelo Russell
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Nov 23, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) dunks in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Nov 23, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) dunks in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Nets have two rising stars on their roster. 

Second-year center Jarrett Allen and rookie forward Rodions Kurucs were both named to the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge on Tuesday. 

Allen, 20, will play for the U.S. team while Kurucs, who turns 21 next week and is a native of Latvia, will play for the World in the exhibition game on Friday, Feb. 15 to kick-start the NBA All-Star weekend. 

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Jan 6, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) goes up for a shot against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Jan 6, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) goes up for a shot against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

The Brooklyn Nets encountered difficulties in scoring against a physical defense, especially at the rim in Boston against the Celtics on Monday.

The Nets hope to produce some improved offense Tuesday night in the second half of a back-to-back set when they host the struggling Chicago Bulls.

Despite the loss, Brooklyn is still 19-6 in its last 25 games, a roll that began with a home win against Toronto on Dec. 7.

Tags: Chicago Bulls
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each scored 21 points, and the Boston Celtics beat Brooklyn 112-104 on Monday night to snap the injury-riddled Nets' six-game winning streak.

Aron Baynes had 16 points, Marcus Morris 15, and Al Horford and Terry Rozier each had 14 for Boston, which tied a franchise record with 16 blocked shots and won for the sixth time in seven games. Horford had 11 rebounds.

The Celtics played without star guard Kyrie Irving, who was sidelined with a sore left hip.

D'Angelo Russell led the Nets with 25 points and Shabazz Napier had 20. Brooklyn had won 19 of its previous 24 games.

Tags: Boston Celtics, D'Angelo Russell
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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the second half at Amway Center. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie during the second half at Amway Center. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie underwent successful surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb, the team announced Monday.

The 25-year-old Dinwiddie, who is expected to miss 3-6 weeks, suffered the injury when he fell and landed on his right hand in Wednesday's win over the Orlando Magic.

Dr. Michelle Carlson performed the operation at the Hospital for Special Surgery, the team announced.

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Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell hits a 3-point shot during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell hits a 3-point shot during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Brooklyn Nets were often reminded in recent seasons about how they gave up three unprotected first-round picks, plus a 2017 first-round pick swap, to Boston as part of the 2013 trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

The Celtics turned those picks into Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and one that was used to obtain Kyrie Irving and elevate Boston into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

Now the Nets are moving beyond the trade and getting into playoff contention for the first time in four seasons.

 

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Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Pelicans star Anthony Davis has requested a trade, his agent told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and the Celtics and Lakers might already be at the forefront when it comes to a potential deal. 

Davis, who has told the Pelicans he will not sign a contract extension, is under contract through the 2019-20 season before being eligible for free agency. 

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship," Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN while requesting the trade. "Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."

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Jan 23, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) and center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 23, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) and center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Just when things were finally looking up for the Nets, the team took a major blow before doing battle against a crosstown rival.

Brooklyn PG Spencer Dinwiddie will undergo surgery on Monday to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The recovery time is expected to be from three to six weeks.

Wojnarowski adds that Dinwiddie met with two specialists to evaluate the injury, and both recommended he undergo surgery. The 25-year-old previously had his thumb examined by one of the top hand specialists in the country as well, according to Fox Sports Radio's Caron Butler...

Tags: Spencer Dinwiddie
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Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) reacts during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Many wondered if the Nets could play at the same level without Spencer Dinwiddie, and though Brooklyn got off to a slow start, the Nets never looked back in the 109-99 win over the crosstown rival Knicks. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) The Nets took the season series finale against the Knicks for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Friday night was Brooklyn's eighth straight win at Barclays Center. After the win, the Nets are on a six-game winning streak.

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Dec 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When they last met on Dec. 8, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks were in the opening stages of their current trajectories.

On that night, Spencer Dinwiddie constantly reached the lane and scored 25 points in Brooklyn's 112-104 win in Madison Square Garden. It was the second win in a seven-game winning streak that turned around Brooklyn's season. Meanwhile, it was a week into New York's current skid.

Heading into the final game of the season series, the Nets have a seven-game home winning streak while the visiting Knicks are on a seven-game skid and firmly entrenched as one of the league's worst teams. >> Read More

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 (SNY Illustration)
(SNY Illustration)

Yes, July 1 is still more than five months away. Hell, we haven't even hit the All-Star break yet. But it's never too early to start thinking about free agency. Here in New York City, the Mecca of Basketball (that's right), this summer is crucial for the local teams.

This year projects to have arguably the best NBA free agent class ever with players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson all -- in one way or another -- able to hit the open market. With hundreds of other players available this offseason and a league salary cap set to rise to $109 million for the 2019-20 season, even in the dead of winter all eyes are on summer '19.

New York's teams are expected to be big players in free agency, with both the Knicks and Nets possessing ample salary cap space and the ambition to exponentially improve. But which NYC franchise has the advantage when it comes to attracting the best talent? Quintessential New York or the "Coolest City in America?" (At least according to GQ, never mind that Brooklyn is actually a borough). Do players want to restore a storied franchise or be the face of a new movement? Midtown steakhouse or Smorgasburg?

Let's take a look at some of the major factors that will either attract or deter free agents and, thus, determine the future of hoops in the Big Apple.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Jarrett Allen, Joakim Noah, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Nets focused for game vs. Knicks 00:01:30
It's a battle of New York as the Nets prepare to take on their cross-town rivals in the Knicks.

The Nets and Knicks play their final game of the season series on Friday night at Barclays Center on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Brooklyn sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference amidst a five-game winning streak. New York hovers above last place in a nose-dive that includes a seven-game losing streak. But none of that matters for Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. 

"I think it's one of those rivalries where it doesn't matter the record," Atkinson said. "The record is out the window. It's two New York teams going at it. I always say, my wish is that both of us get really, really good and this game gets more and more important as we go down the line."

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Nets win streak up to five games 00:00:33
The Nets have won their last 11 of 12 at home with their 4-point win over the Magic on Wednesday.

NEW YORK (AP) D'Angelo Russell had a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds, Spencer Dinwiddie scored 29 points, and the Brooklyn Nets edged the Orlando Magic 114-110 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

Orlando had a chance to tie it at 112 with 3.1 seconds left in regulation, but Nikola Vucevic's basket was waved off after replay review confirmed that the Magic center had actually tipped in the ball while it was still on the rim after Evan Fournier had beaten Brooklyn's Jarrett Allen to the hoop.

Russell, who also had seven assists, hit a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining to seal it for the Nets, who have won seven consecutive games at the Barclays Center. DeMarre Carroll added 19 points for Brooklyn. >> Read more

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Orlando Magic
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Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) passes the ball as Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) defends during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) passes the ball as Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) defends during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Orlando Magic get a chance to avenge a bitter defeat when they play at the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

With Aaron Gordon watching the final 9:19 from the bench after his back stiffened, the Magic blew a 21-point lead in a 117-115 home loss to the surging Nets on Friday night.

Gordon, who has missed Orlando's last two games, remains questionable for Wednesday. >> Read More

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Jan 7, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) and center Al Horford (42) defend against Brooklyn Nets forward Kenneth Faried (35) in the second half at TD Garden. Celtics defeated the Nets 116-95. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 7, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) and center Al Horford (42) defend against Brooklyn Nets forward Kenneth Faried (35) in the second half at TD Garden. Celtics defeated the Nets 116-95. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Kenneth Faried had some harsh words for the Nets on Tuesday. 

The newly-signed Rockets center ripped his former team, which bought out his contract over the weekend, accusing the Nets coaching staff and front office of "lying" to him and sending mixed messages about playing time. 

"It's very frustrating," he said, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. "A lot of, 'We're going to play you when injuries,' and a lot of, 'We're going to play you when in this moment, that moment.'"

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Sacramento Kings guard Yogi Ferrell moves the ball against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell in the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports)
Sacramento Kings guard Yogi Ferrell moves the ball against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell in the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports)

D'Angelo Russell had 31 points and eight assists, and the surging Brooklyn Nets won their fourth straight game by running away from the Sacramento Kings in the second half Monday for a 123-94 victory.

Russell, announced as the Eastern Conference player of the week shortly before the game, made seven 3-pointers. He hit all four 3-point attempts and was 5 for 6 overall in the third quarter, fueling a 22-4 spurt that launched the Nets into the lead for good.

Joe Harris added 19 points and rookie Rodions Kurucs had 16 for the Nets, who won for the 17th time in 22 games.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Sacramento Kings
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Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell drives past Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown in the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell drives past Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown in the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

The Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings spent part of their weekend producing thrilling road victories thanks to clutch performances by starting guards.

Only one team will get to experience the satisfaction of getting a win Monday afternoon when D'Angelo Russell and the Nets host Buddy Hield and the Kings.

The Nets (24-23) are returning home after two impressive road wins for differing reasons.

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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

The Brooklyn Nets officially waived forward/center Kenneth Faried on Saturday, which may expedite the process for Carmelo Anthony to be traded. 

The Houston Rockets are expected to sign Faried and insert him into the lineup immediately, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, but must open up a roster spot by 5 p.m. ET on Monday to do so. 

While Anthony has not played for the Rockets since Nov. 8, he is still under contract and Houston is "aggressively working" to trade the 34-year-old forward by that deadline, according to Wojnarowski, who also added on Saturday that they do not plan to waive Anthony. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kenneth Faried
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Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) passes the ball as Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) defends during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 18, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) passes the ball as Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) defends during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) D'Angelo Russell matched his career high with 40 points and the Brooklyn Nets came back from a 21-point deficit to beat the Orlando Magic 117-115 on Friday night.

Russell's 3-pointer with 27.1 seconds left put the Nets up for the first time since they went ahead 2-0 in the game's first minute. After missed free throws by both teams left Brooklyn with a two-point lead, Evan Fournier missed a shot in the lane that would have tied it for Orlando.

It was the 16th win in 21 games for the Nets, who made 19 of 46 3-point shots.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Orlando Magic
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Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell hits a 3-point shot during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell hits a 3-point shot during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Brooklyn Nets haven't been over .500 all season and were 10 games under at one point.

They will try to get better than even when they play at the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

The Nets were 8-18 on Dec. 5 after they coughed up an 18-point lead after three quarters, losing 114-112 to visiting Oklahoma City as the Thunder's Paul George went off for 25 fourth-quarter points.

Tags: Orlando Magic
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Who is Spencer Dinwiddie? 00:01:24
After Dinwiddie led the Nets to a comeback win over the Rockets, we hit the streets to see if New Yorkers know who Dinwiddie is.

The Nets have been a bit of a surprise this season, as they currently own the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They continue to play good basketball against Finals contenders, like the Rockets on Wednesday night.

Brooklyn defeated Houston on the road in an overtime thriller, and one of the main reasons the victory came in the first place was due to G Spencer Dinwiddie. The 25-year-old is having the best year of his career at the moment, and is solidifying himself as one of the young cornerstones of the team.

In fact, Dinwiddie signed a contract extension earlier this season, which will keep him in a Nets uniform for the near future. So New Yorkers should know about one of the hot, rising basketball stars in town, right? Well, maybe not...

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It's October 2012 and the Brooklyn Nets are playing an exhibition game in Atlantic City -- 130 miles away from their new home in Brooklyn. The teams go back-and-forth as a pocket full of fans begin a chant: "Brooo-klynnn"

It was intimidating for the away team. It was "cool" because it replicated a chorus in Fabolous' rap song.

It was organic.

Tags: Jarrett Allen
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