Nets 108, Hornets 98

Jim Hague, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Brook Lopez scored 26 points and Deron Williams added 21 points and 13 assists, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 108-98 victory over the New Orleans Hornets Tuesday night at the Barclays Center.
The victory enabled the Nets (38-27) to hold onto fourth place in the NBA Eastern Conference standings. It was Brooklyn's fourth win in the last five games.
Besides Lopez and Williams, the Nets received 18 points from Andray Blatche, 14 from MarShon Brooks and 13 from Gerald Wallace. It was the first time that Brooks reached double figures since Feb. 1, a streak of 18 games, and it was the first time that Wallace scored more than 10 points since Feb. 11, a string of 12 games.
The Hornets (22-43) received 24 points from Eric Gordon and 17 points and 11 rebounds from rookie Anthony Davis. Greivis Vasquez had 15 points and 14 assists and Robin Lopez, Brook's twin brother, also scored 15.
The Nets grabbed the lead early on and never relinquished the lead, although the game was tied in the third quarter.
The Nets had the better of the action in the first period, leading by as many as 13 (28-15) and holding a 28-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Hornets scored the first nine points of the second quarter, cutting the lead to 28-27 on a driving layup from Roger Mason, Jr. with 9:26 left before halftime.
The Nets then countered with an 10-2 run of their own, with Williams and Mirza Teletovic each nailing long 3-pointers in the run and Brooks capping the run with two free throws, giving the Nets a 38-29 lead with 7:28 left in the second quarter.
The Nets went back up by 12 (43-31) on a 3-pointer by Keith Bogans with six minutes left.
Blatche had a big second quarter for the Nets, scoring 10 points. Both Blatche and Lopez, the two Nets centers, had 12 points in the first half. Davis had 12 and Robin Lopez had nine to pace the Hornets.
The Nets led, 57-48, at the half.
New Orleans sliced the lead to 62-57 on a long 3-pointer from Gordon, then Vasquez hit a driving shot in the lane that brought the Hornets to within three at 64-61.
Mason, Jr. scored five straight points in the closing minute of the third quarter to tie the game at 78-78, but Blatche had a rebound basket at the buzzer to give the Nets an 80-78 lead heading into the final period.
Brooks drained a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter for the Nets, pushing the lead to 83-78. Williams had a power drive and free throw that gave the Nets a 90-81 lead with 9:15 left in the game.
Interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo finally gave in and played Blatche and Lopez play together and the move paid off, as both centers made big baskets down the stretch. Lopez had a rebound basket and Blatche had a layup in the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Carlesimo said before the game that he's not concerned with the lack of offensive production the team has been getting from forward Gerald Wallace, who was averaging just 6.8 points per game over the last five. "Gerald brings so many things to the table that I'm not overly concerned with his points. He's so important to us in other things, especially with the intensity in which he competes. He lives up to his nickname (Crash) all the time. Gerald will always be in there for us." Wallace is averaging a career-low 8.4 points per game this season. Wallace had only four points and one rebound in the Nets' loss to Philadelphia Monday night, a game where Wallace did not play in the fourth quarter. ... The Nets were without guard Joe Johnson, who sat out the game with his sore left heel. The Nets were in the midst of four games in five days and the medical staff thought it would be best for Johnson to sit it out. ... The Hornets were without leading scorer Ryan Anderson, who was battling the flu. Anderson, averaging 16.7 points per game, was a former Nets' first-round draft pick four years ago. ... Before the game, Hornets coach Monty Williams said that his team, holding a 22-42 record, just has to keep playing. "We can't make excuses about youth anymore," Williams said. "We have to go out and play."... One of the highlights has been the development of forward Davis, who is averaging 13 points and eight rebounds in his rookie season. "I think we've been bringing him along at a slower pace, because he didn't have the confidence early on," Williams said of last year's No. 1 overall selection. "I think that's allowed him to come along at his pace."

What to Read Next