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  • Writer's pictureErik Slater

Nets pull it together down the stretch for win

The Nets finally closed out a game down the stretch.

Brooklyn defeated a depleted Dallas squad 114-106 at Barclays Center Saturday night. It wasn't pretty, but the Nets will take a win any way they can get one.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led Brooklyn with 23 points and 12 rebounds. D'Angelo Russell scored 22 points for his third 20-point performance in the last four games. DeMarre Carroll added 19 points on 4-8 shooting from three.

Brooklyn jumped out to an 11-0 lead to start the game and led by 13 midway through the second. However, as we have seen time and time again, the Nets would let Dallas right back in the game.

Dallas finished the half on a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to three. They would go on a 17-2 run in the third to open up a 10-point lead.

Hollis-Jefferson's 16 second-half points along with several timely baskets from Carroll would ignite a comeback. The duo combined to score 20 of the Nets' 29 points in the third quarter.

“He had a stretch there where he carried us when we were struggling to score. They were switching and it’s nice to have Rondae there because he can take advantage of the switch. That’s huge. If you don’t have that then it's just iso ball," Kenny Atkinson said of Hollis-Jefferson's offense.

Brooklyn would storm back to build a 10-point lead with 2:30 remaining, but Dallas would not go away. Consecutive Yogi Ferrell baskets cut the lead to six.

Nets fans had seen this story too many times. Brooklyn has blown several leads in the final minutes in March. The worst being a March 5th loss to the Clippers in which they led by eight with three minutes remaining.

However, there would be no breakdown in the final minutes Saturday night. Brooklyn locked in defensively and strung together consecutive stops.

Spencer Dinwiddie would seal the game with a pull-up jump shot to extend the lead to eight with 37 seconds remaining.

Defense proved to be the difference for Brooklyn down the stretch. Atkinson's squad held Dallas to 17 fourth-quarter points after allowing 34 in the loss to Philadelphia Friday night.

Carroll played a huge role for Brooklyn in the second half. The nine-year NBA veteran scored several timely baskets to halt a 17-2 Dallas run and played solid defense as the Nets built their lead.

“I just told them, ‘We’re not going to lose this game.’” Carroll said to his teammates when down 10. “I refused to let us lose this game. I felt like this is a team we’re better than. We’ve been playing close games all throughout the year, and this was a great teaching experience to be able to pull this game out at the end. We’ve got to keep playing like that and keep playing aggressive on the defensive end.”

The win brings Brooklyn to 22-48 on the season. The Nets will remain at home for a matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night.

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