The Skinny: Surprisingly, Reggie Evans and Kyle Korver led their respective teams in the early going. Evans scored six of the Nets first 10 points, while Korver scored 7 of the Hawks first 13. The Nets played good defense in the game's first frame, ending the quarter on a 9-2 run and taking a 24-21 lead into the second quarter.
Joe Johnson played with the Nets second unit in the early minutes of the second quarter. John Jenkins gave the Hawks seven quick points and helped them reclaim a 38-37 lead. Al Horford also cooked in the first half, scoring 14 points. DeShawn Stevenson hit a prayer of a three with the shot clock expiring and gave the Hawks a 51-49 lead after the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Evans was a man possessed, grabbing 12 rebounds in the third, alone. He helped the Nets overcome a run from the Hawks and cliched his fourth double-double of the season in the quarter. Josh Smith scored seven for the Hawks, and we entered the fourth with a tight game, the Nets led 74-71.
After turning in 14 points and 21 rebounds through three quarters, Carlesimo opted to begin the fourth quarter with Reggie Evans on the bench. Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Josh Smith combined for 22 points in the fourth quarter. Evans reentered with five minutes remaining and the Nets trailing by 10 points. Down the stretch, Teague broke down the Nets defense and found both Smith and Horford for some finishes. Teague ended the game with 15 assists, seven of which came in the fourth quarter. It was too much for the Nets to overcome.
High Scorers: The Hawks got 22 points from Al Horford, and he was unstoppable for most of the night, shooting 11-of-21 from the field and chipping in 11 rebounds.
Key Stats: The Nets dominated the rebound battle, 50-38, but the Hawks beat them with assists. The Hawks had 30 assists on 44 made field goals. That's pretty outstanding.
Who Was Hot: For the Nets, they got balanced scoring from the starters, but Reggie Evans was the man of the match. He finished with 14 points and 22 rebounds. Deron Wiliams and Joe Johnson each had 18 points and Brook Lopez scored 17.
Who Was Not: Gerald Wallace and C.J. Watson combined to shoot just 2-of-14 from the field. The duo contributed just six combined points.
Fun Fact: Reggie Evans grabbed 22 rebounds. It was his fifth 20 rebound game of the season and the first one that the Nets lost. Entering tonight, the Nets were 4-0 in games in which Evans grabbed over 20 rebounds, but now, his mark has a blemish.
The Nets lost an opportunity to further close the gap on the Knicks tonight. The Knicks will finish up their five game road trip in Utah tomorrow night, while the Nets begin their eight game trip at the Detroit Pistons.
As close as the race for the division is at this point, the Nets need to make the most of the upcoming road trip if they are to have a shot at winning the division.