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Nets finish home stand 6-1 with win over Hawks – Boston Herald


Sometimes it’s about finding a way to win.

The Nets aren’t in it for style points — at least not yet. They want to keep piling more wins than losses. That’s the name of the game.

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

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

After running up a 12-point lead, the Nets blew 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 plays.

For the Nets, that’s rebounding. Kevin Durant finished with 34 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the field. But he missed two straight shots on the Nets’ final offensive possession when the team had a three-point lead.

Each of those misses 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 came up large. The star guard finished with 33 points but also grabbed 11 rebounds.

It was a game-high mark. Irving outrebounded the Hawks’ vaunted glass cleaner Clint Capela. The Nets won the battle on the board, 39-35.

Simmons tallied six points, seven rebounds and six assists in just 21 minutes of action, right around the mark Jacque Vaughn projected for his minutes 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 a few seconds left in the game.

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

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

The Nets aren’t quite on that level yet, but they’re hoping to be at the end of the season. They’re doing so by stacking wins, even if they’re not pretty.



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