Hawks open homestand vs. struggling Nets
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have some positive energy for their longest homestand of the year.
The Hawks (11-30) won the final game of their West Coast road trip and begin a stretch that sees them play nine of their next 10 games at Philips Arena. The six-game homestand starts Friday when Atlanta hosts the Brooklyn Nets (15-28).
This will be the last of four games between the two clubs. Atlanta won two of the three meetings this season, most recently a 110-90 home win on Dec. 4.
Atlanta went 1-4 on its latest road trip, blowing late leads against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, but finished with a 110-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. The Hawks outscored Denver 28-19 in the final quarter to banish some of their fourth-quarter woes and end a 10-game road losing streak.
"We were locked in from start to finish," Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon said. "We came out here with a game plan and we executed, so it worked out for us."
Atlanta is finally healthy again. Dedmon and forward Mike Muscala are back. Dedmon missed 19 games with a left tibia stress reaction and Muscala missed 22 games with a sprained left ankle. Dedmon had nine points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes against the Nuggest. Muscala had nine points, including five during a decisive stretch in the final quarter.
"I was definitely feeling good," Dedmon said. "I wish I could have played more minutes, but it's fun. The team, we all played together and executed."
The Nets have lost three straight games and were drubbed 114-80 by Detroit on Wednesday. It was Brooklyn's worst home loss of the season and came just two days after a one-point loss to Toronto in overtime and followed five straight games decided by five points or less.
"This is our job and we're all here to play basketball," said Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who scored two points after getting a career-high 31 Monday. "We came out here and laid an egg. That's inexcusable and unacceptable. We're going to look to flush it and play better next time out in Atlanta."
Brooklyn was outrebounded 54-34 and trailed by as many as 40 points.
"(Detroit) dominated us in every phase of the game," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "There's not much more to say than that. The message is that we have to go to Atlanta and get this one back. We obviously don't like these types of losses. It hurts your individual pride and competitive spirit."
Former Atlanta forward DeMarre Carroll missed his second straight game with a sprained right knee. He was injured on the final play of Saturday's loss to Boston and is questionable for Friday.
Atlanta's latest win was also the 200th of coach Mike Budenholzer's career.
"I feel very fortunate to have had a lot of great players, including this group," Budenholzer said. "I love coaching them and am very fortunate to be where I am. Hopefully there's a lot more to come."
Hawks guard Dennis Schroder is on the verge of a personal milestone. He needs to score six points to reach 4,000 for his career.
The Nets are 12th in the Eastern Conference, six games out of the final playoff spot. The Hawks are in last place and have the worst record in the league.
Updated January 11, 2018