The Brooklyn Nets improved to 7-3 with a hard-fought 116-1103 road win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. They now sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. James Harden came in struggling but dropped 16 points in the fourth quarter, finishing with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.

Harden had that burst again and put pressure on the Raptors by continuously getting into the paint and finding open shooters. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 31 points on top of seven rebounds and seven assists. Blake Griffin has had a slow start to the season but he had a bit of a breakout game for the Nets. The former number one overall pick finished with a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.

Griffin has become the Nets' embodiment of Mr. Dirty Work. He's even formed the “Blue Collar Boys Club” within the team. And just because you're a superstar does not mean you're automatically invited.

After the game, Durant talked about drawing a big charge and receiving some playful encouragement from his teammates.

“Yeah, (Griffin) told me to put my hard hat on in the locker room after the game,” revealed Durant. “I feel like I’m part of the crew with him and Patty (Mills) but I told him I took a charge and almost got a concussion cause I ran into him so I guess I was in his way. But Blake inspires us with those types of plays and it's contagious for sure.”

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Griffin, a comedian, got in on the gag after the Nets' victory over the Raptors as well. He talked about how Mills is now in the “Blue Collar Boys Club” but Durant's application is still pending.

“Joe (Harris) and I actually decided today,” said Griffin. “But today Patty Mills is officially a BCB member.”

What about KD?

“We notice and we appreciate Kevin’s commitment to taking a charge,” deadpanned the six-time All-Star out of Oklahoma.  “I dunno if he knows the application process takes a while so while we do like him as a prospect it's gonna be a bit of a go. He’s gotta jump through a few hoops before we just give it to him. There's no easy way to get into the ‘Blue Collar Boys Club.'”

Mills, the newest addition to the club finished with 13 points, knocking down three-of-six triples and all four of his free throws.

“I worried for a second there they had the wrong email address or something,” joked Mills. “Cause I hadn’t got anything in my inbox. But it's good to know I've been accepted. I put in my request but I hadn’t heard back, so it's good to know.”

The early Sixth Man of the Year candidate won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. He certainly knows how a blue-collar mentality can boost a team's spirit. His former coach Gregg Popovich used to motivate Mills and company with the stonecutter's credo “pound the rock.”

After a moment of levity, Mills explained why it's so vital to make these types of hustle plays for the Nets.

“I think in a serious way, it's probably something we can hang our hat on and you can see the way that we play that way, when you see BG flying around the floor and diving on loose balls and putting his body on the line for the betterment of the team the rest of the guys feed off that energy and it can be infectious that way,” said Mills. “Then Kevin goes and takes a charge as well and other guys start doing that, I think we’re starting to find a little bit of our identity on that end of the floor.”

Coach Steve Nash spoke about how Griffin went from being a leading scorer on prior teams to a role player with the Nets who now does all of the little things for his team. It's pretty clear that the Nets are enjoying the defensive end of the floor. That's not something every team can say. It's a testament to Griffin's effort and defensive savvy that he's become a leader in this regard.

As of posting, the Nets have the sixth best defensive rating in the NBA. Few would have expected that coming into the season.

We can't wait to see if Durant's application to the “Blue Collar Boys Club” is eventually accepted.