SPORTS

Reeling Nets drop 7th in row

NY Daily NewsAssociated Press
Atlanta's Dwight Howard dunks in front of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as Nets suffer latest blowout loss on Tuesday in Brooklyn.
AP
On paper, this one appeared to be a mismatch. On the court, that's exactly how it played out. Dennis Schroder had 19 points and 10 assists, Dwight Howard added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and the visiting Atlanta Hawks won their season-high seventh straight game with a 117-97 victory Tuesday night over the skidding Brooklyn Nets.
Paul Millsap added 14 points for Atlanta, which led the entire way and has won eight of its last nine road games. Kris Humphries had 13, Malcolm Delaney scored 12 and Thabo Sefolosha finished with 10.
"Ever ybody was on the same page," Schroder said. "It was great to win." Brook Lopez scored 20 points for the Nets, who have lost seven in a row and 12 of 13. Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 and Sean Kilpatrick 14.
"Well, you feel a bit for (Nets coach) Kenny Atkinson tonight. Brooklyn is trying to build something here," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, who had Atkinson on his staff in Atlanta for three years. "I care so much about him and I want good for him, so it is a little bit hard."
Lopez's 3-pointer brought the Nets to 89-78 with 9:44 left. But the Hawks responded with a 24-8 run and opened their largest lead of the night, 113-86, on Taurean Prince's two free throws with 2:02 remaining.
"They outworked us. The numbers clearly show that," Lopez said. "They came ready to play."
The Nets began the third quarter on a 15-7 run and pulled to 68-58 on Kilpatrick's bucket with 6:28 left. Atlanta scored the next four points and had an 86-70 lead after three.
"They came out a lot more aggressive than we did," Kilpatrick said. "When a team punches first, you've got to be able to punch back and I don't think we did that."
The Hawks went up 25-15 on Tim Ha r daw ay Jr.'s 3-pointer with 5:28 left in the opening qua r t er. Back-to back 3s by Bogdanovic sparked an 8-0 run as the Nets pulled within two.
That was as close as they got the rest of the way as Atlanta went on to lead 35-29 after the first quarter. The Hawks increased their lead to 61-41 on Kent Bazemore's two free throws with 1:39 left in the second before settling for a 61-43 halftime lead.
"I wish we were a little bit more competitive," Atkinson said. "They set the bar high and we can look at it and say someday we'd like to strive to be a similar program, but we have a lot of work to do."
Caris LeVert (11 points) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10) also scored in double digits for Brooklyn.
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