The Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of their first round series, 91-83, at Barclays Center on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks lead the series 2 games to 1.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Here is what he had to say afterwards.
On taking control of the game with an 18-0 run after losing the lead in the third quarter, “Yeah, we knew they were going to make a run. If you look at all of the playoff games, people have had big leads throughout them and the opposing team has always climbed back into it. So we knew they were going to come back. We knew they weren’t going to quit, and it was just a matter of sustaining our energy and going back to what made us successful. And Jarrett Jack did a great job of coming in, giving us great energy, moving the ball and getting guys great looks, and defensively we got back to stopping them and getting the rebound and killing the offensive rebounds.”
On putting the defensive clamp on Kyle Korver, who had just 2 points on Saturday afternoon, and not letting him get on a roll, “Yeah, it’s tough. It’s really tough. He has been great during this series, and that’s something we have gone over a lot in practice in film – just watching the ways he gets his looks and where he likes to shoot from. And guys like Double A (Alan Anderson) and Bogey (Bojan Bogdanovic), they did a great job of challenging him tonight, chasing through screens, staying attached and contesting it when he caught the ball and making him uncomfortable. They were really practically in his jersey tonight and I think he could really see that. We’ve got to be even better at that next time.”
On if playing at home was tonight’s spark for the Nets: “Yeah, it was so great to be back home. It was tough losing those close ones on the road in Atlanta, but they had a spectacular crowd and it was fun to play back in that environment. But it was so great being back home playing with our fans. It definitely gave us a lift, and they never quit on us. When Atlanta made their runs, they were right there with us cheering us on. They had our back. It was a huge lift for us tonight. I want them to be even better on Monday.”
On how important this season has been to prove he is still healthy: “Yeah, I think I was pretty healthy the majority of the season. I had a little back injury, but that was a blip. A lot of it I think was just we’ve had a lot of turnover the past two, three, four years. So it was good to know the staff, get on the same page with Lionel (Hollins), and getting to know a lot of the new guys’ playing styles. And it’s not something that happens immediately; sometimes it happens quicker than other seasons. But it was a process and I think we’re peaking at the right time going into the playoffs. We were figuring each other out, and we’re very confident with where we are now and we still think we can be better.”
On catching up to the Hawks throughout the season: “Yeah, we definitely weren’t the same team in those first two games at least. We’re a completely different team now. And they did blow us out one time when we were really streaking and didn’t get together. But like I said, we’ve prepared a lot, we’ve watched a lot of film, seen what they’ve liked to do and we know they are going to make adjustments, but we really feel like we can compete with these guys and we have a lot of confidence right now.”