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Taurean Prince makes first career start in loss to Nets

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Prince scores 17 in first career start.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Taurean Prince made his first career NBA start for the Atlanta Hawks in Sunday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets. While Prince has seen an increased role of late, his performance on Sunday was probably the silver lining in what was another painful loss for the Hawks.

“I feel good just playing,” Prince said when asked about his first starting assignment. “Obviously we wanted to win, so I’m not satisfied. Going to get back to work.”

Prince finished with 17 points, six rebounds and three steals. He didn’t shoot the ball well going 5-for-13 but was 2-for-4 from three-point range. He also finished plus-10 for the game and was just one of three players to finish with a positive rating.

“There was a lot of good things that Taurean did,” Mike Budenholzer said of Prince’s performance. “It’s tough, he played 38:27. There is a few plays, him individually and us collectively, I wish he’d make a couple of more rebounds, a couple of more things here and there. But, generally, Taurean was great for his first start. He is really coming in the right direction”

Prince is averaging over 20 minutes per game in March and is shooting just over 39 percent from three-point range while averaging a season-best 6.8 points per game. Perhaps even better, he is earning the trust of the coaching staff and his teammates.

“Taurean has been playing great,” Dwight Howard said. “Him playing great is going to help us in the playoffs. He has to continue to play like that. Everybody has to play big.”

With Thabo Sefolosha’s status uncertain going forward, Prince could continue to play a big role for the Hawks.