Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 108, Hornets 98
By Mike Mazzeo
WHAT IT MEANS: It took three-quarters of the season, but Deron Williams is officially the least of the Brooklyn Nets’ concerns.
Continuing his run of stellar play since the All-Star break, Williams scored 21 points and had 13 assists and the Nets beat the New Orleans Hornets, 108-98, on Tuesday night at Barclays Center. In his last two games, Williams, who notched his 16th double-double of the season, has dished out 26 assists.
The Nets (38-27) have won four of their last five games and improved to 22-4 against sub-.500 teams (at time of game played).
Centers Brook Lopez (26 points, five rebounds) and Andray Blatche (18 points, five rebounds) combined for 44 points and 10 rebounds in support of Williams, while MarShon Brooks, who had played just two minutes in the previous two games combined, added 14 off the bench.
The Nets were without Joe Johnson, who missed his fourth game of the season due to a sore left heel. But they fared just fine in his absence, shooting 50 percent from the field.
BATMAN OVER ROBIN: Brook Lopez posterized his twin brother, Robin Lopez, by converting a one-handed dunk to make it 72-65 Nets in the third quarter.
NOT OVERLY CONCERNED: That’s how Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo replied when asked how concerned he was about Gerald Wallace. On Tuesday night, anyway, Carlesimo was right, as Wallace (13 points, eight rebounds) finished in double figures for the first time since Feb. 11 (12 games).
TWIN TOWERS: In the third quarter, Lopez and Blatche played together in the same lineup for the first time since Carlesimo talked about doing so when he initially tightened the rotation. They also played together in the fourth.
PULLING AWAY: The Nets used a 7-0 run to take a commanding 92-81 lead with 8:14 left.
THIRD IS THE BAD WORD: The Nets were outscored 30-23 in the third quarter, as the Hornets went into the fourth down just 80-78.
FIRST HALF FUN: The Nets led by as many as 13 in the first half. Blatche and Lopez combined for 24 points, while D-Will added 10 points and eight assists. Brooklyn shot 52.5 percent as a team.
GETTING AHEAD: The Nets led 28-19 after the first quarter on the strength of 12 Lopez points.
WHO’S IN THE HOUSE? Susan Sarandon
UP NEXT: Nets vs. Hawks on Sunday night at 8 p.m.