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Saturday, March 9, 2013
W2W4: Nets at Hawks

By Mike Mazzeo

The Brooklyn Nets will try to pick up their first win in Atlanta since Nov. 15, 2008, on Saturday night. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.; here’s what we’ll be watching for:

WHAT WILL 3-WILL DO FOR AN ENCORE? Deron Williams set a franchise record by hitting 11 3-pointers in Friday night’s victory over Washington. He also set the NBA mark for 3-pointers made in a half by hitting nine in the opening 24 minutes. He finished one shy of the league’s single-game record held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall.

Since the All-Star break (nine games), Williams is averaging 23.8 points and 7 assists on 48 percent shooting, including 53 percent from 3-point range.

ANOTHER RETURN FOR JOE: Joe Johnson will play his second game in Atlanta since being traded to the Nets from the Hawks in the offseason. His return on Jan. 16 didn’t go well, as he went just 4-for-15 from the field in his first game against his former team. Since missing three games due to a sore left heel, Johnson is averaging 12.5 points on 45.7 percent shooting in 32.6 minutes (four games).

“Joe will not say it, but I’m not convinced Joe’s back there yet,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "I think Joe’s going through a little bit of what Deron went through.”

CUTTING DOWN THE TOs: The Nets have turned it over an unacceptable 85 times in their last four games. They have to cut that number down.

SNAPPING THE SKID: The Nets have lost eight straight in Atlanta, while surrendering an average of 109.4 points over that span, according to STATS LLC. The season series between the two teams is tied at 1. The Nets are just 15-23 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played).