The Brooklyn Nets are being presented with a good opportunity in the words of coach Kenny Atkinson "to make some money" with a string of home games before the schedule significantly increases in difficulty.
So far so good for the sixth-place Nets (32-30), who attempt to get another home win Wednesday night when they host the Washington Wizards.
Brooklyn is 18-14 at home and 15-4 in its last 19 home games since blowing a 23-point lead to Oklahoma City on Dec. 5. The Nets turned in three straight disappointing home losses against Milwaukee on Feb. 4, Chicago on Feb. 8 and Portland last Thursday before rebounding nicely with a 101-85 win over San Antonio on Monday night.
The Nets hit 19 3-pointers and began a stretch of six out of eight games at home by allowing their second-fewest points this season and fewest in a home game since allowing 84 to Washington on Dec. 2017.
"I think it's an advantage playing here," Atkinson said before Monday's game. "I think we have to make some money, especially knowing what comes after that."
Wednesday starts a stretch of seven straight games against opponents with losing records. The Nets are 23-13 against teams with under .500 records and 17-3 against those teams since Dec. 8.
After the friendly stretch comes a seven-game road trip, and 11 of the final 13 games are against opponents with winning records, including six against the top five teams in the Eastern Conference.
On Monday, D'Angelo Russell followed up a 40-point showing in Charlotte with 23 points against the Spurs, giving him 34 games with 20-plus points this season. Joe Harris hit five 3-pointers and is shooting 73.1 percent (19 of 26) from behind the arc in his last five games.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign was Caris Levert showing some of his explosiveness in his sixth game back from missing nearly three months with a right foot injury. LeVert scored Brooklyn's final 12 points of the first half and finished with 15.
"It was huge for us," LeVert said. "Every game is important for us, especially home games are important for us. Especially this homestand we have right now before we have that monster schedule in the middle of March. The more wins we get now, the better." >> Read more
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