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Nets click in Atlanta, win third straight

Andray Blatche, who finished with 18 points off the bench, sparked the Nets in Atlanta. Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

This was one of those typical Brooklyn Nets wins.

Nothing real flashy.

Just guys picking each other up and getting the job done.

The Nets shot just 43.4 percent from the field, but committed only nine turnovers and held the Atlanta Hawks to 41.6 percent shooting in their 93-80 victory on Saturday night. Brooklyn, which got 35 points from its bench, has held its last seven opponents under 100 points, the third-longest active streak in the NBA.

The Nets (37-26) have won three straight games, improved to 16-23 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played) and snapped an eight-game losing streak in Atlanta.

“As good a game we’ve played all year, considering it was a back-to-back,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo told reporters in Atlanta. “Our focus was good. Our energy was good. We were a really good basketball team tonight.”

Joe Johnson (eight points) and Deron Williams (17 points, six assists) combined to go 9-for-26 from the field, but Andray Blatche picked them up, scoring 18 points in 20 minutes and collecting four steals. Brook Lopez added 18 points of his own -- 14 in the third quarter -- along with nine rebounds.

“I just tried to be aggressive and take the shots I was working on during practice,” said Blatche, who went 9-for-11 from the field in 20 minutes.

Johnson, still clearly bothered by a sore left heel injury, is averaging just 11.6 points in his last five games on 42.4 percent shooting. But Williams, who made a franchise record 11 3-pointers on Friday night, has picked him up of late, and continues to show explosiveness off the dribble now that his ankles no longer hurt.

The Nets got down 11-1 early on, but rallied back to tie the game at 23 by the end of the first quarter. Then they turned it up in the second, outscoring the Hawks 28-14. They led by as many as 23, and had just four turnovers in the final 36 minutes after committing 85 in their previous four games. The Nets are 19-5 when committing 13 turnovers or less.

“We never had a letdown,” Lopez said. “It was constantly in our minds that we wanted to keep the energy high and the focus high, and we did a good job of that.”

Carlesimo decided to go with a nine-man rotation rather than a tight 10-man rotation. MarShon Brooks was the odd man out, and did not get into the game until the Nets were well ahead with 3:37 left.

Next up for the Nets? A day off followed by back-to-back games against the Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Hornets on Monday and Tuesday.

“We’ve gotta just keep the momentum going,” Lopez said.