Nets vs. Hawks final: Brooklyn picks up key playoff race win over Atlanta

USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets used 18 points each from Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche to beat the Atlanta Hawks, creating a little breathing room in the race for home court advantage in the Eastern Conference.

The Brooklyn Nets remain in the driver's seat for fourth place in the Eastern Conference after they beat the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena Saturday night, 93-80.

The teams went into the second quarter tied at 23, and that's when the Nets ran away with the game, outscoring the Hawks 28-14 to take the 14-point lead going in to the half. Deron Williams' first half wasn't quite as eventful as Friday night's, where he made nine three-pointers against the Washington Wizards, but he still managed to score 12 of his 17 points in the half.

Williams and the Nets continued to pour it on in the second half, stretching their advantage to 19 several times in the third quarter. After falling behind by as much as 23 points early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks managed to get the lead down to 13 before the Nets went on another run to put the game away. Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche led the Nets in scoring with 18 apiece, while Al Horford paced the Hawks with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Johan Petro, getting his first start of the season, scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter.

The win kept the Nets in sole position of fourth place in the East and knocked the Hawks down to seventh place, one-and-a-half games back of the Boston Celtics.

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