Nets finish 6-1 at home with win over Hawks – The Denver Post


Sometimes it’s about finding a way to win.

The Nets aren’t here for the style points — at least not yet. They want to keep racking up more wins than losses. It’s the name of the game.

Friday’s 120-116 win over the Atlanta Hawks wasn’t pretty. The Nets were without starting center Nic Claxton (right hamstring strain) and reserve forward Yuta Watanabe (right hamstring strain). Ben Simmons played under a minutes restriction in his first game after missing four straight games with a calf strain, and the Hawks entered the night a desperate team, losing six of their last nine games.

Hawks stars Dejounte Murray and John Collins also missed Friday’s game.

After taking a 12-point lead, the Nets missed it and let the Hawks take a one-point advantage midway through the fourth quarter.

Again, it’s not about the pretty win. It’s about making more winning games.

For the Nets, it’s bouncing back. Kevin Durant finished with 34 points on 14 of 25 shooting from the field. But he missed two straight shots on the Nets’ last offensive possession as the team held a three-point lead.

Each of these misfires was recovered by a teammate. First Kyrie Irving. Then Royce O’Neale.

In a game the Nets desperately needed to control the glass, it was Irving who hit the jackpot. The star guard finished with 33 points but also grabbed 11 rebounds.

It was a game record. Irving passed Clint Capela, the Hawks’ vaunted window cleaner. The Nets won the battle on the board, 39-35.

Simmons had six points, seven rebounds and six assists in just 21 minutes of action, just around the mark Jacque Vaughn had projected for his minute limit. Seth Curry and TJ Warren combined for 25 points off the bench.

Hawks star Trae Young matched Irving’s 33 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 31 off the bench. Bogdanovic hit a clutch three to make it a one-possession game with seconds left.

Durant had 18 of his 34 points in the first quarter, the most points he’s scored in an opener since 2010.

The Nets finished their seven-game home run with six wins to one loss. That lone loss came against a Boston Celtics team that made it to the NBA Finals last season.

The Nets aren’t quite there yet, but they hope to be there by the end of the season. They do this by piling up the wins, even if they don’t look good.



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