WHAT IT MEANS: Atlanta lead by 13 with 3:36 left, but New Jersey still had a chance in the waning seconds of the game. That means when their shooters are hitting -- and they haven't been lately -- the Nets can be more competitive than their 2-8 record indicates.
SLOW STARTS: Avery Johnson said before the game that his team had yet to embarrass themselves on defense. Then Atlanta went out and shot 63.6 percent from the field in the first quarter. New Jersey was outscored 31-18 in the period, mirroring their first quarter against Miami. Of the six different scorers for the Nets, none scored more than one field goal in the first and the team shot 29.4 from the floor.
MORROW BIG IN FOURTH: Anthony Morrow scored 10 points in the fourth quarter that almost brought the Nets all the way back. First, Jeff Teague fouled him on a 3-point attempt. Then Teague hit a floater after the free throws. Morrow responded with a 3-pointer and another jumper before finding Kris Humphries for a layup to get the crowd at The Rock rocking again and cut the lead to 100-95 with 58.7 seconds left. Morrow hit another three with four seconds left that put New Jersey within three.
LIVING AND DYING BY THE 3: Atlanta's bigs sucked the Nets into the paint, which left the 3-point line wide open for Vladmir Radmanovic and Teague. Radmonovic, who started in place of injured Marvin Williams, made 4 of 11 from three. Teague hit all three of his attempts.
BROOKS AS A STARTER: Rookie MarShon Brooks was impressive in his second career start with 19 points and 10 rebounds while filling in for DeShawn Stevenson, who was a last-minute scratch with a sore left knee. Brooks gave the Nets a lift in the third quarter with 11 points, making three treys. In his first start, against Boston on Jan. 4, he scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half.
D-WILL: Atlanta gave the Nets point guard Deron Williams different looks, guarding him with Teague and sometimes 6-7 forward Joe Johnson. But Williams picked his spots on offense, ran defenders off multiple screens and continued to trust his wing players from the 3-point line. He record his second straight double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 assists, while shooting 6-for-17.
UP NEXT: The Nets head out to start a grueling four-game West Coast road trip, starting in Denver on Wednesday. Then New Jersey will play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday against Phoenix and Utah, before matching up with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.