Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets got the result they desperately needed in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, using a huge second-half run and a stout defensive effort to pull off a 91-83 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in Saturday's 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.
The Hawks will attempt to regroup when Game 4 takes place Monday at Barclays Center.
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.
After falling behind early and failing to catch up in the series' first two games, the Nets used a strong start to put Atlanta on its heels just minutes into this matchup.
Brooklyn raced out to a quick 14-3 lead as the Hawks missed eight of their first nine shots. A 7-0 run pulled Atlanta within 16-12 later in the opening quarter, but Bogdanovic buried two 3-pointers to reverse momentum and the Nets ended the period on a 9-0 surge to grab a 31-16 advantage.
Atlanta, which shot just 28.6 percent in the first quarter, began the second on a 12-4 spurt to trim the deficit to seven, and Brooklyn's lead was cut to 43-38 after Millsap hit a corner trey with 2:38 left in the half.
The Hawks trailed 47-40 at halftime and were still down by seven midway through the third quarter before making a big push. Jeff Teague converted a 3- point play and Dennis Schroder fed Kent Bazemore for an alley-oop dunk moments afterward that knotted the score at 58-58. Millsap came up with a steal and layup on the subsequent possession, part of an 11-0 flurry that had Atlanta up 62-58.
The Nets halted a seven-game losing streak to Atlanta that included a four- game sweep during the regular-season series ... Korver had averaged 19 points in Atlanta's wins in Games 1 and 2 ... Hollins previously guided the Memphis Grizzlies back from an 0-2 series deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2013 West quarterfinals. He was also the point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers team that lost the first two games of the 1977 NBA Finals before rallying to down Philadelphia ... The Hawks outscored Brooklyn 25-2 in fastbreak points ... After being outscored by a 92-70 margin in the paint over the first two games, Atlanta finished with a 50-30 advantage in Game 3.