Nets rebound from Pistons debacle with gritty road win

ATLANTA — The Nets ended the first half of the season with a humiliating loss to the Pistons that left a bad taste in their mouths. They opened the second half Friday night with a sweet come-from-behind 110-105 win over the Hawks.

“It was big-time, because we’ve had a little bit of a losing streak and we’ve had some heartbreaking losses followed up by the very poor showing against Detroit,” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “To come out here and take Atlanta’s best shot and still come away with the victory is big time.”

No one was bigger for the Nets (16-26) than Dinwiddie.

With the Hawks holding the ball and a 105-104 lead after Quincy Acy’s turnover with 33 seconds left, Brooklyn seemed destined for a fourth straight loss. Then Dinwiddie turned destiny around, snatching the rebound off a rare Dennis Schroder miss and immediately pushing coast-to-coast for a go-ahead layup with 11 seconds left.

Dinwiddie, who just missed a triple-double with a team-high 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, even got fouled on the play. He missed the free throw, but followed his shot, fought for the offensive rebound and got fouled again. And this time he didn’t waste his chance at the stripe, sinking both for a 108-105 edge.

With the Nets up by three, Schroder — who had 21 of his game-high 34 points in the second half — opted to drive instead of go for a potential tying 3-pointer. DeMarre Carroll rotated over and forced him into a travel with 5.1 seconds remaining, and Caris LeVert (seven points, seven assists) sealed it with a dunk.

Spencer Dinwiddie hits the go-ahead shot in the Nets’ win.Getty Images

“We’ve lost some tough, close ones. To pull out one on the road especially coming back from that Detroit game I thought it was a great job by our group. They showed great resiliency. It was a great bounce-back game for them. I’m proud of their effort,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We had a bad taste in our mouths, for ourselves, for our fans. The guys wanted this game. Good job by our players.”

The Nets got 17 points off the bench from Jahlil Okafor, who is starting to get in sync with his teammates. The Nets improved to 4-4 in their last eight, and bounced back from that humbling non-effort against Detroit two nights earlier.

“It was a much needed win after losing a couple in a row,” Okafor said. “It feels great. We’d lost a couple of close ones so to come out in top speaks volumes.”

“We’re growing. But this is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Carroll, back after missing the prior two games with a knee injury. “We had to stop the losing streak. We feel like we were better than Atlanta. It’s one of these games where we knew we had to come in here and take it from them.”

Schroder’s three-point play put Atlanta ahead with 2:59 left, and center Dewayne Dedmon added a 3-pointer to make it 99-94.

Taurean Prince sank two free throws of his own to put the Hawks back on top 105-104, and when Acy turned the ball over on a drive, Atlanta was in the driver’s seat.

But that’s when the Nets finally forced that rare Schroder miss with 15.5 seconds left, and Dinwiddie was off to the races.

“It’s huge,” Joe Harris said. “Looking back on that game [against the Pistons], it’s a difficult one for us, it’s embarrassing. We let down from the performances we had against Toronto and Boston, so coming into this game the energy was different.”