Sports

Nets try to even series with Hawks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets will try to even their series with the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks Monday night when Game 4 takes place at the Barclays Center.

The Nets, the worst team record-wise in the postseason, cut their first-round series to a 2-1 deficit Saturday thanks to a 91-83 home victory in Game 3.

Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young and Joe Johnson all recorded double-doubles, and each scored six points during a pivotal 18-0 tear that bridged the third and fourth quarters and propelled the Nets to a crucial win after dropping the series' first two games in Atlanta.

Lopez finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, Young bounced back from a two- point effort in Wednesday's Game 2 by posting 18 points and 11 boards and Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points for Brooklyn. Johnson contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The top-seeded Hawks managed to overcome a 15-point first-quarter deficit to briefly move ahead in the third, but were ultimately done in by a wretched shooting display. Atlanta made just 6-of-30 attempts from 3-point range and ended 35.6 percent overall.

"I thought our defense, especially down the stretch, was outstanding," Nets head coach Lionel Hollins stated.

Kyle Korver, the Hawks' top scorer through the first two games, was held to a mere two points on a 1-of-8 success rate, while Al Horford was 3-of-12 from the floor in a seven-point performance.

"We missed a lot of bunnies, a lot of open looks that we usually make," Hawks forward Paul Millsap said. "Maybe it's a lack of focus. I didn't think (the Nets) did anything special. But give them credit."

DeMarre Carroll did register a playoff career-high 22 points for Atlanta, with Millsap tallying 18 points and 17 rebounds in defeat.

Atlanta appeared to have overcome its offensive woes after putting together an 11-0 sequence that staked the Hawks to a 62-58 lead with under three minutes remaining in the third quarter. However, the Nets countered that run and then some.

Young answered with six consecutive points and Johnson drained a triple that put Brooklyn up 67-62 at the end of the third. Johnson then began the fourth with a 3-point play that preceded three straight buckets from Lopez, the last extending the Nets' margin to 76-62 with 8:53 to play.

"The biggest thing was just keeping our composure, not letting (losing the lead) get to us," said Young. "We knew they were going to make a run, we knew they were going to try to come back."

Though the Hawks, who went scoreless for more than seven minutes during the fateful stretch, scored the next six points to get within eight, they could never make a sustained push the rest of the way.

Game 5 is on tap Wednesday back in Atlanta.