Moke Hamilton, SNYNets.com

Sebastian Telfair

NEW YORK — From NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin to all-time greats Mark Jackson and Bernard King, New York City's borough of Brooklyn has produced its fair share of NBA talent over the years.

That's something that Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo knows very well. Carlesimo coached on the collegiate level for 19 total years, spending time at New Hampshire college (1975) , Staten Island's Wagner College (1976-1982) and former Big East powerhouse Seton Hall University (1982-1994).

Carlesimo remembers recruiting at some of Brooklyn's high schools. "It's always been a great borough, there's always been players in Brooklyn," he said before the Nets took on the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 13. "Forever, there's been great players coming out of Brooklyn. I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't here recruiting both the CHSAA and the PSAL."

Although high school powerhouses such as Bishop Loughlin and Nazareth Regional are amongst Brooklyn's more renowned high schools, it was a pair of Coney Island's own and former Lincoln High Railsplitters that made their hometown NBA debuts on the weekend of Jan. 11.

Neither Sebastian Telfair nor Lance Stephenson ever thought they'd see such a day.

Telfair was the first of the two former Railsplitters to come home. The Brooklyn native and nine-year NBA veteran that's affectionately known as "Bassy" had never been to Barclays Center before, but he was very familiar with the corner that it was built on.

“I played for [AAU team] Brooklyn USA, so all my teammates were from this area," he said. "We always used to meet right out here at the clock tower on Atlantic Avenue.”

Telfair had been looking forward to this game for a while.

“I had this game circled and now today is the day," he said. "I’m just excited to be here and to try to take it all in and get the most out of it.”

Often, NBA players returning to play in their hometowns have a little more nerves than usual. If Telfair did, he did a great job of downplaying it. “It's gonna be the same thing, same rim, same basketball," he said. "Other than a little pressure from your family being here and being from here... it’s the same thing.”

Telfair’s superior quickness, vision, ball handling, and basketball lineage made him a star as a young player Brooklyn.

As a high school junior, he broke into the national spotlight when he shared the cover of Slam Magazine with LeBron James. As a senior, he had another cover of Sports Illustrated all to himself.

In 2004, he realized his dream when the Portland Trailblazers selected him with the 13th overall pick. And though his career has seen him make stops in cities such as Boston, Minnesota and Cleveland, Telfair still makes his offseason home in Westchester and keeps close contact with his family that still resides in Brooklyn.

He's stayed involved in the community by sponsoring basketball tournaments and camps that his family helps to organize.

In all, Telfair had about 40 of his friends and family members on hand for his Brooklyn debut. And even though his Suns walked away from Barclays Center without a win, he'll always remember his first pro game in Brooklyn.

"It felt good. I was excited out there, I felt a little extra bouncy," Telfair said after his Suns dropped a 99-79 decision to the Nets. "The first experience was pretty cool. I wish we would have gotten a win, but the game didn't go exactly how we wanted it to go. I wish I would have been a little more aggressive over the course of the game."

When asked if he was looking forward to returning next season, Telfair said he was. "Absolutely," he said. "This is going to be a place that I always mark the calendar on. To get the opportunity in front of my family, my hometown, it's a unique place and I'm happy for that experience here."

Telfair became the first player in history to win three PSAL titles and broke Kenny Anderson's all-time New York state high school scoring record. Telfair ended his career with a record-setting 2,785 points.

Lance Stephenson

That record, though, would be short-lived. And interestingly enough, it was the Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson who broke it.

Stephenson graduated from Telfair's alma mater five years later. By the time he did, he amassed 2,946 career points. It was somewhat ironic that Stephenson—Telfair's junior by five years—would play in Brooklyn for the first time the very next game after him.

Stephenson spoke with the media before his debut, as well. "I never thought we would have an arena in Brooklyn," Stephenson said before the game. "I feel great, especially playing in front of my family and friends. I'm happy I'm playing back home and just wanna have fun."

When asked whether he misses playing in New York, Stephenson agreed. "Of course," he said. "This is back home. This is where I was born and this is where I got my name." And like Telfair, he had this game circled on his calendar long before it was played.

Unlike his predecessor, Stephenson "only" had about 30 guests on hand. And according to him, they were looking forward to Jan. 13 just as much as he was.

The Pacers have slowly become one of the conference's better teams even as it tries to forge a new identity without all-star small forward Danny Granger. Stephenson, now in his third year, is a major part of their success. Entering play on Jan. 13, the Pacers had gone 9-2 over their past 11 games and Stephenson has averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game over that stretch.

"[I] just try to be a smart player, be a factor on the team, play team ball," Stephenson said of his recently improved play. "[I] just try to do the little things so I can stay on the floor and help us win games... watching film, getting with the coaches, learning where to be on the floor on defense."

Despite being a high-profile prep star, questions about Stephenson's maturity caused his stock to slide. Back in 2010, despite being considered a lottery level talent, he wouldn't be selected by the Pacers until 40th overall.

He's seemingly put those concerns behind him, though, and has recently shown signs of becoming a solid NBA professional.

Unfortunately for Stephenson, his Brooklyn debut would be short-lived. He managed to play just seven minutes in the first quarter but couldn't continue due to a toe injury he sustained in the Pacers previous game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

"I hurt my toe last game and I couldn't finish off tonight," he said. "It still felt good to be here, though... I just couldn't be myself and I couldn't play."

Without him, the Pacers lost a 97-86 decision to the Nets.

Even though the two former Railsplitters lost in their debuts, each was happy to have an experience in Brooklyn that they'll never forget.

And ironically enough, Telfair and Stephenson dressed in the same stall in the visitor's locker room at Barclays.

When told, Stephenson thought it was a funny conincidence. Hustling away to meet up with his friends and family, he thought about it for a second, smirked and responded.

"It's a Brooklyn thing," he said.

Though Telfair and Stephenson are each making their careers elsewhere, they both have Brooklyn pride. On Jan. 11 and 13, the two Brooklynites played their first NBA games in their hometown.

And now, since the NBA has found a home in Brooklyn, we can rest assured that for Telfair and Stephenson, it won't be their last.

With Dan Kelly contributing.

Tags: Columns, Moke Hamilton

Oct 20, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) plays the ball against Orlando Magic point guard Shelvin Mack (7) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 20, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell (1) plays the ball against Orlando Magic point guard Shelvin Mack (7) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After missing 32 games with a knee injury, D'Angelo Russell made his long-awaited return to the court for the Nets in their 101-95 comeback win against the Heat on Friday night. 

Russell was predictably rusty. In 14 minutes off the bench, he missed all five shots from the field and scored just one point, with two assists and two turnovers. The stat line wasn't of the utmost importance-- Russell and the Nets know the shots will fall. Everyone was just happy to have him back on the court. 

"That was the main test, so getting the opportunity to go out there and be with my teammates again was great," Russell said...

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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GEICO SportsNite: Nets 00:00:26
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson believes the team's defense has come a long way which showed in Friday night's 101-95 victory over the Heat.

Nov 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (25) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)
Nov 11, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (25) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)

NEW YORK (AP) DeMarre Carroll scored 26 points, Spencer Dinwiddie had 15 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Miami Heat 101-95 on Friday night.

Brooklyn snapped a five-game losing skid at Barclays Center and a seven-game home losing streak to the Heat.

Caris LeVert and Joe Harris each added 12 points for the Nets. D'Angelo Russell played 14 minutes and went 0-for-5 from the field for Brooklyn in his first action after missing 32 games following left knee surgery.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll
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Oct 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) takes a jump shot against New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack (55) during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) takes a jump shot against New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack (55) during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Nets guard D'Angelo Russell is active and will play against the Heat on Friday night, via Anthony Puccio of SB Nation.

Russell has missed 31 games since injuring his knee on November 11, which required arthroscopic surgery to fix. 

The 21-year-old Russell averaged 20.9 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds, all career bests, in 12 games with Brooklyn before undergoing surgery. His 46.3 percent shooting percentage was also a career high through his first three seasons.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Nearly six weeks ago, the Miami Heat withstood the elevation and turned on the defense in a "road win" over the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City.

It began a run of 15 wins in 20 games for the Heat, who visit the Nets on Friday night at Barclays Center.

When the Heat took the court Dec. 9 they were two games under .500 at 11-13 and entered the game by allowing 100 points in five straight games. They wound up holding the Nets to 36 points in the second half of a 101-89 win and are allowing 98.4 points in their last 20 games.

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gestures to one of his players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won 115-107. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
		
		 (John Raoux/AP)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gestures to one of his players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won 115-107. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux/AP)

On Wednesday night, the Nets found themselves in a familiar scenario: on the wrong end of a close loss. The Nets fell 100-95 to the Spurs, but head coach Kenny Atkinson sees positives amid the loss. 

Atkinson believes the team is close to turning those close losses into close wins. 

"I feel like we're getting close," Atkinson said, via the Nets official site. "This is San Antonio, Toronto and Boston, these are elite teams in our league and there are no moral victories. But I do think they're encouraged, we're improving and getting better..."

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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)

NEW YORK (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points, Patty Mills made seven 3-pointers and the San Antonio Spurs responded to the latest absence of Kawhi Leonard by beating the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Wednesday night.

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Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

The road has not been kind to the San Antonio Spurs of late, where they have suffered a rash of losses.

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GEICO SportsNite: Nets' Russell 00:00:49
On GEICO SportsNite, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reports on the status of D'Angelo Russell and when he might possibly return to action.

On GEICO SportsNite, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reports on the status of D'Angelo Russell and when he might possibly return to action.


Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll shoots against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll shoots against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas during the first half at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

Kristaps Porzingis had 26 points and nine rebounds, Michael Beasley added 23 points and 10 boards, and the New York Knicks opened their longest road trip in nearly 30 years by beating the Brooklyn Nets 119-104 on Monday.

Tags: DeMarre Carroll, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- The road struggles of the New York Knicks already are a focal point. Their issues away from midtown Manhattan are about to become even more magnified if they continue.

The Brooklyn Nets would like to be the opponent handing the Knicks another road loss.

The Knicks start their season-high seven-game road trip Monday afternoon when they cross the East River to face the Nets at Barclays Center.

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 (John Geliebter)
(John Geliebter)

The Nets have signed F James Webb III of the G League's Delaware 87ers to a two-way contract, per Yahoo! Sports Shams Charania. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The Boise State University product has spent two seasons in the Sixers' system. This season, he is averaging 11.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists as well as 1.3 steals per game. Last year, he had 13.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. 

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Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

WASHINGTON (AP) John Wall scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and overtime and added 16 assists as the Washington Wizards beat the Brooklyn Nets 119-113 on Saturday night after giving back a 23-point lead.

 

Tags: DeMarre Carroll, Jarrett Allen, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives past Mason Plumlee during the first half on Tuesday night in Denver. (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives past Mason Plumlee during the first half on Tuesday night in Denver. (AP)

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards have not been good at exacting revenge this season. Another opportunity comes Saturday when the plucky Brooklyn Nets arrive.

The Wizards (24-18) opened their back-to-back set at home Friday with a 125-119 victory over the Orlando Magic behind 30 points apiece from John Wall and Bradley Beal The victory ended a two-game skid and came against one of those teams with losing records that have bedeviled the Eastern Conference contenders this season.

Washington is an anemic 12-10 against teams below .500 this season. Two of those losses came at Brooklyn last month. In the rematch, the Wizards trailed by as many as 40 points before falling 119-84 on Dec. 23.

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Jan 12, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) drives against Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Jan 12, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jahlil Okafor (4) drives against Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Jahlil Okafor offered fans a glimpse of why he was selected third overall in 2015 and why the Nets were so keen to take him on once the 76ers gave up on him. 

The big man scored 17 points in just 12 minutes off the bench in the Nets 110-105 win against the Hawks on Friday night. Okafor's 17 points came on 6-8 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the line. He finished with no rebounds, though. 

"I got easy baskets with my teammates dropping the ball off to me," Okafor said, via Greg Logan of Newsday. "I'm playing with some really good guards who make my life easier."

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 (Jason Getz)
(Jason Getz)

Spencer Dinwiddie continued his stellar play as he dropped 20 points to help the Nets defeat the Hawks, 110-105, on the road. 

Dinwiddie went 6-of-15 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line, while recording a double-double with 10 assists as well. He tallied nine rebounds as well.

Tags: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie squeezes between Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee and Nuggets guard Will Barton during the first half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie squeezes between Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee and Nuggets guard Will Barton during the first half at Barclays Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

 

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have some positive energy for their longest homestand of the year.

The Hawks (11-30) won the final game of their West Coast road trip and begin a stretch that sees them play nine of their next 10 games at Philips Arena. The six-game homestand starts Friday when Atlanta hosts the Brooklyn Nets (15-28).

This will be the last of four games between the two clubs. Atlanta won two of the three meetings this season, most recently a 110-90 home win on Dec. 4. >> Read more

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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives past Mason Plumlee during the first half on Tuesday night in Denver. (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives past Mason Plumlee during the first half on Tuesday night in Denver. (AP)

Spencer Dinwiddie has been a bright spot for the Nets this season, a fun wrinkle on an enjoyable team with nothing to lose. 

In the last month, Dinwiddie has asserted himself to fans outside of Brooklyn. A game winner here, 31 points there. Nets fans have a social media campaign to get him to the All-Star game, which is boosted by the emergence of a new nickname from his locker room: Siri, because he always seems to have an answer or opinion to share.

"Yeah, that's what they say," Dinwiddie told Ben Detrick of The Ringer. "It's a little bit exaggerated..."

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Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 10, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) defend against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) Andre Drummond scored 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, Tobias Harris had 22 points, and the Detroit Pistons blew past the Brooklyn Nets 114-80 on Wednesday night.

Dwight Buycks added 17 points for the Pistons.

Allen Crabbe scored 20 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 15 points for the Nets, who have lost three in a row. >> Read more.

Tags: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Jan 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) shoots against Toronto Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during overtime at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 8, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) shoots against Toronto Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during overtime at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

For various reasons, the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets are experiencing frustration from recent games.

Detroit is upset with its defensive results of late, especially on the road. Brooklyn is disappointed about losing two close home games to two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. >> Read more

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

After a crushing overtime loss to the Raptors Monday night, Nets G Spencer Dinwiddie thought he should have gotten a call on the last play of the game. 

Dinwiddie held the ball -- and the fate of the game -- in his hands as the clocked ticked in overtime. He drove to the basket, but on the shot, was hit and fell to the ground hard as the ball rolled out of bounds. The result was a final touch on the ball from Dinwiddie without a foul called on F Serge Ibaka, who sent him to the floor. 

Dinwiddie, who has voiced his opinion about the Nets not getting enough calls, said, "See. That's what I'm talking about." The Raptors skated away with a 114-113 win, and after the game, Dinwiddie thinks his team just needs to be better at taking contact if they're not going to get calls. 

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Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan dribbles the ball against Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Allen Crabbe during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan dribbles the ball against Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Allen Crabbe during the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, including a go-ahead three-point play with 26.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Toronto Raptors shook off a late injury to Kyle Lowry to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-113 on Monday night.

The Raptors lost a 10-point lead in the final 4 1/2 minutes of regulation and then lost Lowry after a hard fall in OT, but at least won the game, just as they always do against the Nets.

Toronto beat Brooklyn for the 10th straight time and won its fifth in a row overall.

Tags: Toronto Raptors
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Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. (Russell Isabella/USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto defends against Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. (Russell Isabella/USA TODAY Sports)

Nets guard D'Angelo Russell practiced with Brooklyn's G-League team on Monday as he nears his return to the NBA from a knee injury, according to the New York Post's Brian Lewis.

Russell underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove loose bodies on Nov. 11, and after practicing Monday, he was recalled to Brooklyn, as he is on track to return later this month.

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Caris LeVert drives past Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan during the third quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Caris LeVert drives past Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan during the third quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

A week ago, DeMar DeRozan set a team record with a dazzling 52-point performance during an overtime victory against the Milwaukee Bucks to continue his outstanding season.

The two follow-ups to DeRozan's historic performance were not record-setting but still effective as the Toronto Raptors kept winning.

DeRozan seeks another productive showing Monday when Toronto visits the Brooklyn Nets.

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GEICO SportsNite: Nets 00:01:35
Spencer Dinwiddie and Kenny Atkinson react following a tough, physical loss to the Boston Celtics.

NEW YORK (AP) Jayson Tatum had a driving dunk and a 3-pointer on consecutive late possessions, pulling the Boston Celtics out of a late hole and leading them to an 87-85 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

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Dec 26, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets player DeMarre Carroll (9) drives to the basket while guarded by San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (14) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Dec 26, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets player DeMarre Carroll (9) drives to the basket while guarded by San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (14) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

After a lull dimmed some of the satisfaction from their outstanding start, it appears the Boston Celtics have regained their footing, especially defensively.

Boston seeks its sixth straight win Saturday when it visits the Brooklyn Nets.

The Celtics began this season with 22 wins in their first 26 games by holding teams to 96.8 points and 43.8 percent shooting. Boston then dropped six of its next 11 and allowed 101.6 points in those games.

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Jan 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Quincy Acy (13) and Brooklyn Nets small forward DeMarre Carroll (9) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Quincy Acy (13) and Brooklyn Nets small forward DeMarre Carroll (9) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Nets are four games out of the final playoff place in the Eastern Conference and their players believe they can make the playoffs

Why not? With an East-heavy January schedule, ground could be made over the next four weeks. And without owning their first-round pick this summer, currently owned by the Cavaliers via the Celtics, the front office surely has no incentive to lose. 

At 15-23, the team is a bit better than many expected. Reinforcements are on the way, too. Jahlil Okafor has just begun to enter the Nets rotation, with 11 minutes against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, and D'Angelo Russell is soon to be back from injury...

Tags: D'Angelo Russell
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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives past Mason Plumlee during the first half on Tuesday night in Denver. (AP)
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives past Mason Plumlee during the first half on Tuesday night in Denver. (AP)

After Spencer Dinwiddie's big night against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, culminating in draining the winning bucket with 9.8 seconds left, fans have rushed to social media to wax lyrical about the 24-year-old. 

On top of the clutch basket, Dinwiddie tied his career high in points with 26. He also notched nine assists. His teammates took notice of the work he put in this summer and believes he has earned the plaudits he's receiving. 

"His attention to detail, his approach to the game really got him where he is," said Quincy Acy...

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Jan 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Quincy Acy (13) and Brooklyn Nets small forward DeMarre Carroll (9) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 3, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Quincy Acy (13) and Brooklyn Nets small forward DeMarre Carroll (9) celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK (AP) Spencer Dinwiddie made the go-ahead jumper with 9.7 seconds left and tied his career high with 26 points, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 98-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Butler missed at the buzzer as the Timberwolves lost for just the second time in nine games. >> Read more

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Jan 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) and guard Joe Harris (12) react in the third quarter against Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 1, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) and guard Joe Harris (12) react in the third quarter against Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

On June 25, 2015, Karl Anthony-Towns and Jahlil Okafor sported suits and hats of their respect new teams -- the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers.

They were first-round picks and trusted with being significant components of rebuilding efforts. >> Read more

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Brooklyn Nets forward Quincy Acy reacts with forward DeMarre Carroll in the second quarter against Orlando Magic guard at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward Quincy Acy reacts with forward DeMarre Carroll in the second quarter against Orlando Magic guard at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)

Rookie Jarrett Allen had a career-high 16 points, Allen Crabbe added 15 points and blocked a potential tying shot, and the Brooklyn Nets edged the Orlando Magic 98-95 on Monday night.

Caris LeVert also had 15 points, while DeMarre Carroll chipped in 14 points, 10 rebounds and the tiebreaking free throw with 34.5 seconds remaining. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 13 for the Nets, who opened up the new year with a win after closing out 2017 with a 1-4 road trip.

Tags: Orlando Magic
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Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll shoots the ball over Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes during the first half at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll shoots the ball over Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes during the first half at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

The last time the Brooklyn Nets played a home game, they produced their best showing of the season.

The Nets will get several chances in the upcoming weeks to produce more home victories starting on Monday night when they host the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Tags: Orlando Magic
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 (Bob DeChiara)
(Bob DeChiara)

 

The Nets made a run at a comeback late in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics managed to eek this one out as they won at home, 108-105. 

Star PG Kyrie Irving led the Celtics' offense with 28 points on 10-for-21 shooting, including a 4-for-4 from three performance. He also notched eight rebounds and two assists. Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris had 14 and 15 points respectively, while Jaylen Brown notched 13 points for the Celtics. 

Tags: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
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Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Caris LeVert during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Caris LeVert during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON -- Fresh off their wild come-from-behind victory over the Houston Rockets, the Boston Celtics close the calendar year with a New Year's Eve matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson coaches against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Nets dismantled the Heat 111-87, a game they lead by as much as 38 points, Brooklyn head coah Kenny Atkinson was proud of his team but wants that type of energy on a regular basis.

The shots won't always fall like they did against the Heat, but effort is something the team can control.

"Great job by the guys being ready," Kenny Atkinson said...

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Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Caris LeVert during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Caris LeVert during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

 MIAMI (AP) Joe Harris scored a career-high 21 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 18 and the Brooklyn Nets simply embarrassed the Miami Heat 111-87 on Friday night.

Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen each had 12 for the Nets, who were actually down 18-8 early - then outscored Miami 85-37 over the next 28 minutes. LeVert added a career-best 11 assists.

It matched the biggest win by the Nets over the Heat ever, going along with the 24-point victory by New Jersey on Dec. 1, 1989, which was early in the second season in Miami franchise history.

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Dec 12, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) gestures after scoring a three pointer during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Dec 12, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) gestures after scoring a three pointer during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

MIAMI -- Center Hassan Whiteside is back in the Miami Heat starting lineup after a knee injury cost him 13 games.

But now that Whiteside has returned, how will Heat coach Erik Spoelstra manage the minutes at power forward and center?

Some answers are expected on Friday night, when the Heat (18-16) play host to the lowly Brooklyn Nets (12-22). Spoelstra will have Kelly Olynyk, rookie Bam Adebayo and Whiteside at his disposal, and the latter said he is ready for increased minutes.

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Dec 27, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is tangled up with Brooklyn Nets forward Quincy Acy (13) during the second quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)
Dec 27, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is tangled up with Brooklyn Nets forward Quincy Acy (13) during the second quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Rajon Rondo set a franchise record with a career-high 25 assists in just 30 minutes on the court, Anthony Davis had 33 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Brooklyn Nets 128-113 on Wednesday night.

DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 23 points for the Pelicans, who've won three straight. >> Read more

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Dec 26, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets player DeMarre Carroll (9) drives to the basket while guarded by San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (14) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Dec 26, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets player DeMarre Carroll (9) drives to the basket while guarded by San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (14) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

NEW ORLEANS -- If ever there were a time for the New Orleans Pelicans to make a northward move in the NBA standings, it is now.

Coming off two blowout victories on the road against the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat before the Christmas break, the Pelicans (17-16) will take on the Brooklyn Nets (12-21) on Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center. >> Read more

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Dec 26, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball over Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Dec 26, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball over Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll (9) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 21 points, Pau Gasol grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with 15 points, and the Spurs beat the Nets on Tuesday night, 109-97. >> Box Score

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Nov 29, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) dunks during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Nov 29, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) dunks during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs haven't lost at home to the Brooklyn Nets since George W. Bush's second year in office.

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Dec 23, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) dunks against Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the 3rd quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Dec 23, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) dunks against Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the 3rd quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Victor Oladipo scored 38 points and was perfect from the free-throw line, helping the Indiana Pacers escape with a 123-119 overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

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Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Caris LeVert during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard Sean Kilpatrick and guard Caris LeVert during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana Pacers began this season by scoring 140 points in a home game against the Brooklyn Nets.

While the Pacers have not reached those heights again, it proved to be a sign they would develop one of the league's most effective offenses.

Indiana hopes to produce another effective night of offense Saturday when it hosts the Nets.

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Nov 20, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Nov 20, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Amid the Nets 119-84 thrashing of the Wizards on Friday night, the crowd was chanting for Jahlil Okafor. The former Sixer received his fifth DNP in six games since being traded to Brooklyn. 

Of course, it wasn't a surprise that Okafor didn't get off the bench. Okafor, head coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks have all been in agreement that it doesn't make sense to thrust Okafor into minutes before his conditioning is up to par. But Atkinson heard the chorus of "we want Okafor!" 

"Yeah, I heard it, and I respect the fans and I understand they want to see him," Atkinson said...

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Dec 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) dunks the ball over Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) dunks the ball over Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Nets were dominant from start to finish Friday night, as they crushed the Wizards, 119-84, at Barclays Center. >> Read more

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Nets with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, as well as 11 rebounds and seven assists.  

Tags: Washington Wizards
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Nov 27, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) attempts to score as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Nov 27, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) attempts to score as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

 

NEW YORK -- Ten days ago, John Wall was on the verge of returning from a left knee injury when the Washington Wizards visited the Brooklyn Nets and ultimately lost.

This time, Wall will be playing Friday night when the Wizards visit the Nets.

Washington (17-14) went 4-5 while Wall sat out from Nov. 25-Dec. 12 and Bradley Beal was their primary scorer. Beal averaged 23.8 points in Wall's absence when the Wizards lost four games decided by five points or fewer. >> Read more

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Dec 20, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III (10) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 20, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason III (10) defends against Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) during first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) George Hill scored 22 points, Zach Randolph added 21 and the Sacramento Kings completed their first back-to-back sweep of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 104-99 on Wednesday night.

The Kings got off to a sizzling start following their victory in Philadelphia a night earlier, then held on after Brooklyn cut a 21-point lead to two with just over a minute to play. >> Read more

Tags: Sacramento Kings
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Vote below for the top NY Sports moment of 2017.

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Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Dec 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reacts in the fourth quarter against Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets have been focused on getting Jahlil Okafor back into game shape, and the rest of the Nets would like to revert to what they were doing before losing their last three games.

The Nets will attempt to stop their skid Wednesday night when they host the Sacramento Kings. >> Read more

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