Career Highs for Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson vs. Knicks

Dinwiddie nets 26 while Hollis-Jefferson hits for 25

A year ago, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Spencer Dinwiddie averaged 16.0 points per game between them. Over the first 27 games of the 2017-18 season, particularly with D’Angelo Russell out for the last 14 games, they’ve been two of the most crucial cogs in the Nets’ offense, emerging as Brooklyn’s top scorers in Russell’s absence.

That was evident Thursday night when the Nets dropped a 111-104 final to the New York Knicks at Barclays Center, with Hollis-Jefferson and Dinwiddie combining for 51 points, nearly half of Brooklyn’s total.

That was unusual for a team that routinely has a balanced box score. But for the fourth straight game the Nets shot under 30 percent from 3-point range.

“Just the ball not going in for us right now,” said Allen Crabbe. “Just one of those stretches. We will be better though. That is the good thing about the league, you get another one next day. So hopefully things turn around for us.”

So it was Hollis-Jefferson’s inside-the-arc game that that gave Brooklyn’s offense the most juice. And while Dinwiddie knocked down four 3-pointers, he missed seven. When he got into the paint on drives, he hit 5-of-6.

Both players notched career highs in points. Hollis-Jefferson finished with 25 on 10-of-16 shooting, continuing his breakout third season. He burned the Knicks from one of his favorite spots, facing up for baseline jumpers and slashing to the rim in transition.

With the Nets down 73-68 midway through the third quarter, Hollis-Jefferson scored back-to-back baskets that were followed by a DeMarre Carroll 3-pointer that gave Brooklyn its first lead since the opening minutes.

Over the last five games Hollis-Jefferson is averaging 18.4 points per game, plus 8.4 rebounds while shooting 53.1 percent from the field.

“I’m not worried about the numbers,” said Hollis-Jefferson. “It would have been good to get the W.”

In the 14 games that Russell and his 20.9 points per game have been sidelined, Dinwiddie and Hollis-Jefferson have been Brooklyn’s leading scorers, with 15.4 and 15.3 points per game respectively.

Dinwiddie, a year and a week from being signed out of the G League, had his career high with 26 points, plus seven assists, while shooting 9-for-17 overall.

“I was just fortunate to hit shots,” said Dinwiddie. “Last game I couldn’t hit the side of a barn. Today they went in.”

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