The last time the Nets faced the Hawks, they lost 129-127 on a game-winning Trae Young shot at the buzzer when Spencer Dinwiddie had been afraid to challenge with too much force.
On Friday night, he and the Nets challenged Young with more than the Hawks star could overcome in a 124-107 victory.
Dinwiddie had nine points and 12 assists, finishing a plus-21.
More important, he started on Young and harassed the Hawks All-Star into a quiet 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting, and just 0 of 5 from 3-point range.
Young was scoreless until shortly before halftime and finished a game-worst minus-33.
“I think overall you saw we had different bodies on him. Spencer started on him which was different from the last time. I thought our coverage was pretty solid,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said.
“They’re pretty good at getting in and out of screens, sometimes not setting those screens. I thought our communication on the defensive end was pretty good, and then we didn’t foul them as much to get him going. A player like that, sometimes he makes free throws and then the next thing you know, he’s feeling good about himself. I thought all of his shots were contested tonight with a heavy hand in front of him.”
Dorian Finney-Smith’s 19 points were his highest total since joining the Nets.
He finished 7 of 10 from the field, 4 of 6 from deep, grabbed eight rebounds and his minutes as a smallball five were key.
He got the minutes that Day’Ron Sharpe would have in his second turn through the rotation backing up starter Nic Claxton (14 points, 12 rebounds).
Mikal Bridges, who scored 42 points Friday, was named Thursday as one of 12 finalists for the NBA Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.
It’s based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership and commitment and dedication to the player’s team.
The Long Island Nets beat the Cleveland Charge, 111-107, on Friday to reach the G-League semis.
Ronnie Burrell was named G-League Coach of the Year.
“I talked to him after the game, I waited to talk to him after the game. Just excited about it, I told him I’m proud of him,” Vaughn said. “I was here when Ronnie was with us previously and to see him grow, him lead that team, to see how well our guys are playing and how they have developed, you give him a lot of credit for that. And good thing they won, too.”
Sharpe (left ankle sprain) played Friday after initially being listed as probable.
Ben Simmons (back — nerve impingement) was out, while two-way players David Duke Jr. and Dru Smith were with Long Island.
Dinwiddie, Bridges, Cam Johnson, Finney-Smith and Claxton started for the 21st time in Brooklyn’s last 22 games, and now comprise their most-used starting lineup of the season.
The NBA and NBPA are closing in on a new CBA, according to numerous reports.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who played with the Nets from 2020-22, announced his retirement for the second time.