The Nets played easily their best game of the season on Saturday, but it wasn't enough against the Magic, who pulled out a 91-90 win on a Jameer Nelson fadeaway baseline jumper over Brook Lopez with four seconds on the clock.
Until late in the second quarter, this looked like it would be an easy win for Orlando. But the Nets cut the Magic lead from 11 to one with a 10-0 run to end the half. The second half was tight throughout and the Nets took a one-point lead with a 7-0 run, capped by a pair of Lopez free throws with 11 seconds.
It was then that Nelson took the ball full court, got a screen from Dwight Howard, and dropped the difficult shot over Lopez. The Nets had no timeouts left, so Devin Harris could only get a halfcourt heave off before the buzzer. It was long and the Magic escaped with the victory.
The Nets shot 49 percent from the field and 8-for-18 from the 3-point line, but they were outrebounded 43-31 and outscored 19-12 at the free throw line.
Harris, who began the second half in the locker room because of cramps, led all scorers with 26 points, adding six rebounds and eight assists. Lopez rebounded from his struggles to finish with 23 points, while Travis Outlaw shot 8-for-12 from the field for 20 points.
Harris missed a layup and two foul shots late. "I make those and maybe it's a different game. Obviously I have to live with it," he said. "I've got to be more aggressive in that situation, obviously I can't miss layups and I can't miss free throws."
- Boxscore - NBA.com
Game Highlights (Video) - NBA.com
- Magic avoid 3-game skid, top Nets on Nelson basket - Brian Mahoney - AP
Magic-Nets notebook - Jake Appleman - NBA.com
- Nets fall to Magic, 91-90, on late Jameer Nelson basket - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Kris Humphries gets another start at power forward for Nets - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
Nets' Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow struggling to play well at same time - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Jameer Nelson trumps Brook Lopez's late heroics with fadeaway jumper - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nelson's shot in final secs scorches Nets - Fred Kerber - New York Post
Williams, Nets take it slow - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Nets can't make crucial stop against Magic - Al Iannazzone - The Record
Nets notes: Terrence Willliams worried - Al Iannazzone - The Record
Nets aren't down after another narrow defeat - Al Iannazzone - The Nets Insider
- Pre-Game: Avery Johnson talks about Harris' role (Video) - Chris Shearn - YES Network
- Post-Game Plus (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- From the Booth (Video) - Marv Albert & Mike Fratello - YES Network
Avery Johnson Press Conference (Video) - YES Network
- Brook Lopez Interview (Video) - YES Network
- Rapid Reaction: Magic 91, Nets 90 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- NETS: Lopez Makes Headway vs. Howard, But Can't Block Nelson - Ben Couch - New Jersey Nets
Orlando Magic 91, New Jersey Nets 90 - Evan Dunlap - Orlando Pinstriped Post
MAGIC: Cohen: Magic-Nets Postgame Analysis - Josh Cohen - Orlando Magic
- Magic ends two-game skid, hold on to edge Nets - Josh Robbins - Orlando Sentinel
Van Gundy wants even more improvement from Pietrus - Josh Robbins - Orlando Sentinel