NBA Basketball: New Jersey Nets at Atlanta Hawks - Nets Favored
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Three days after watching the Atlanta Hawks celebrate following an overtime victory, the slumping New Jersey Nets look to exact revenge Wednesday night when they visit Philips Arena.
New Jersey (22-27) is in the midst of a four-game losing streak, tying its second-longest slide of the season. After dropping the first two games of the skid by a combined 57 points, the Nets have lost the last two in overtime, including Sunday's 101-99 defeat to the Hawks (18-29).
Vince Carter's 3-pointer tied the game at 99 with 2.9 seconds to play, but Atlanta's Tyronn Lue responded by hitting a 23-foot jumper at the buzzer and was mobbed by his teammates at halfcourt.
"It's a tough loss," Carter said Sunday. "We can't be inconsistent and up and down during the course of the game. With us down bodies, we have to come out and play hard and scrappy from start to finish."
The Nets did that Monday, but again fell just short and lost 100-98 in overtime at Philadelphia. New Jersey had an 11-point third-quarter lead, but the 76ers finished the quarter on a 13-2 run and forced the Nets to come from behind in the fourth period.
New Jersey's Eddie House hit 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left to send the game to the extra period, but after taking a one-point lead two minutes in, the Nets went scoreless until Carter's layup with 36 seconds left.
"We have to work our way out of it," said Carter, who led the Nets with 23 points and 10 rebounds. "We have to work hard and hope things start breaking our way."
New Jersey has fallen 3 1/2 games behind first-place Toronto in the Atlantic Division, and is also trying to hold off third-place New York.
The Nets close out their three-game road trip Friday against Boston.
The Hawks have lost three of the last four home meetings with the Nets, and five of eight.
Atlanta is just 9-14 at Philips Arena and suffered its second straight loss there Monday, 90-83 to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Hawks shot 39.4 percent from the floor and went 4-for-9 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
Atlanta pulled within three points three times during the final period, but couldn't get any closer.
"I give our guys credit. They played a tough overtime game last night, and came back and fought hard," coach Mike Woodson said. "In a close game like this, you have to make all the right plays. I thought they made awesome plays, they got loose rebounds that we didn't come up with. You have to make free throws down the stretch in a crunch game like that. You have to step up and knock them down."
Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 27 points. The Hawks guard is averaging 31.8 points in the last five games and scored 37 against the Nets on Sunday.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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