Nets vs. Hornets: Brooklyn Heads to Charlotte Seeking Southeast Sweep

Rebounding has been Nets coach Kenny Atkinson’s point of emphasis after two recent losses, but the Brooklyn Nets cleaned that up in a big way in Wednesday’s 130-118 win over the Atlanta Hawks that improved their record to 11-10 while winning seven of their last 10 games.

The Nets outrebounded the Hawks 60-42, including 18 offensive boards on the way to 26 second-chance points, well above their season average of 14.6 second-chance points per game, although that number does rank sixth in the NBA.

“Dominating the glass,” said Atkinson. “I think that has been a sticking point for us. We have talked a lot about rebounding the past couple of days, how much that has hurt us. So collectively, I thought we got on the boards. Even in the first half, when we were missing shots, I thought we cleaned up a lot of misses and that was the difference in the game.”

Those second-chance points were just part of 66 points in the paint by the Nets, again above their season average of 51.0 that ranks fifth in the league.

Jarrett Allen had 20 points and 13 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds, his ninth double-figure rebounding game in the last 10. The other time, against Sacramento on Nov. 22, he had nine rebounds in just 25 minutes of a 19-point win.

Overall, the Nets shot 50 percent from the field, 45.2 percent from 3-point range, and had four starters score at least 20 points.

“We’re versatile,” said Taurean Prince, who scored 23 points. “Got a lot of guys that put in a lot of work and we know we’re capable of that type of stuff on any given night, whether those guys are healthy or not. It’s just about continuing to play as a team and knowing anybody can go off for 20 on any given night.”


Kenny Atkinson and Taurean Prince each spent a few years with the Hawks, but for Prince, it was his first return since being dealt to Brooklyn over the summer.

“It felt good to be back in the city,” said Prince. “Obviously when you live here for three years, you gain relationships, people that you rock with and things that you used to do on a daily basis. It was good to get that feeling again.

Prince responded with 23 points while shooting 9-for-15 overall and 5-for-7 from 3-point range, raising his season-long 3-point shooting percentage to 40.5 per game. He also had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

“I felt like he wanted to have a good game being here, his family is here, his family came with us,” said Atkinson. “It’s always good to play well coming home. What we are asking from Taurean is just more consistency. I think he has another level, and he has got to do it again in Charlotte in a couple of nights.”


Garrett Temple had 27 points for Brooklyn on Wednesday night, a season-high, along with matching a career-high with six 3-pointers. In scoring 10 of Brooklyn’s 16 points bridging the first and second quarters, Temple propelled the run that gave the Nets the lead for good.

In 12 games as a starter, Temple is averaging 12.3 points in 32.1 minutes per game.

“The character, the leadership, the professionalism, a guy that understands how to follow the game plan to a T,” said Kenny Atkinson. “He will do whatever you ask for the team, and it’s a real bonus, him making shots. He hit some timely ones tonight when we were struggling. He hit that tough floater there at the end on the left side. He is playing great basketball for us.”


The Nets won the first meeting the season with the Hornets, 101-91 at Barclays Center on Nov. 20. The two teams will meet again back in Brooklyn next Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Similar to the Nets, Charlotte is aggressive from 3-point range, ranking seventh in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game (13.0), ninth in 3-pointers attempted per game (35.5) and ninth in percentage (36.5).

The Hornets have struggled on the boards, ranking 26th in both rebounds per game (41.9) and rebounding percentage (48.3). Charlotte’s defensive rating of 113.5 is also 26th in the league.

Second-year guard Devonte Graham leads Charlotte with 18.7 points and 7.7 assists per game, shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range. Guard Terry Rozier (40.3) and rookie forward P.J. Washington (42.9) are also 40-percent 3-point shooters.