The Brooklyn Nets, long languishing out of NBA playoff contention, are looking to the future -- and a third straight win, 141-118 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, is a step in the right direction.
"We are getting better, and I'm just thankful to see that," said Jeremy Lin, whose 16 points matched the 16 of teammate Brook Lopez in the blow-out victory.
Lin's three-point play just before the halftime buzzer gave the Nets 81 first-half points -- matching a 34-year-old club record.
They powered home in the second half to claim their first three-game winning streak of what has been a less than memorable season.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson noted that the 76ers, who have lost five players for the season to injury, were "a little short-handed."
But he was pleased that his players were able to "take care of business" against their depleted foes.
He said the return of Lin in mid-February, after a 26-game absence with a strained hamstring, had marked a steady, if slow, change of fortunes.
"One thing about Jeremy being back -- it puts everyone else in place," he said. "Everyone's kind of settled into their roles."
Lin had seven assists Tuesday, as did teammates Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Nets shot 70 percent from the floor in the first half and 70.6 percent from three-point range. Eight Nets players scored in double figures for the game.
They trailed only in the opening minutes, using a 13-2 scoring run to claim an 18-8 lead that they stretched to 40-27 after one quarter.
"We're just trying to make the right play," Lin said. "And I think we understand now better than we did in the past: Where are we getting our shots and where are we getting our touches? ... I felt like tonight it came together, to some degree."