clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Andray Blatche-Brook Lopez experiment pays off, as the Nets top the Hornets, 108-98


BROOKLYN - Tonight it was Nets vs. Hornets, Lopez brother vs. Lopez brother. One missing piece, however, was Joe Johnson who sat out with a heel injury. Luckily, the Nets didn't need Johnson because they had... wait, what? Reggie Evans? And Andray Blatche? Oh, right, and some guy named Deron Williams.

Plenty of enough talent to push back on a young Hornets team who continued to make things interesting, even though they couldn't quite take the lead from the Nets. The final result, a Nets victory, 108-98.

Williams finished with 21 points and 13 assists, while Blatche scored 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting off the bench and Evans went for six points and 13 rebounds (more on him later). Lopez -- the handsome brother -- led the way with 26 points.

In the first quarter it was a whole lotta Brook Lopez on offense (12 points) and plenty of Reggie Evans off the glass (8 rebounds). As Robin Lopez went to the bench with two fouls, the Nets went to their size early, with Lopez leading the charge.

After one, the Nets led 28-19, holding the Hornets to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor.

Brooklyn's bench struggled early in the second, letting the Hornets back into the game -- Nets 28, Hornets 27 with about nine minutes left in the second. P.J. Carlesimo had to bring Deron Williams back into the game a little earlier into the quarter than he would have liked. Williams quickly became responsible for five straight points (an assist and a wide-open three) to give the Nets a bit of a cushion.

And before you knew it, the Nets were back up 13 points midway through the quarter.

A ton of credit goes to Andray Blatche who decided to show up in the first half, scoring 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Lopez didn't play at all in the second quarter, which was, um, interesting. Still, the Nets led at the half, 57-48.

The Nets offense was a bit stagnent in the third quarter, getting nothing done early and allowing for the Hornets to quickly get back into the game. The Nets essentially went away from what was working -- points in the paint -- and missing too many long jumpers.

Carlesimo thought outside the box by putting Lopez and Blatche on the court side-by-side -- something NetsDaily commenters (you're welcome, bros and gals) have been asking for, well, for quite some time now. The result? Four straight possessions, four straight baskets. Maybe we'll see this more often? Maybe? Offensively, they were strong. On defense, though, they were, well, struggling. So, you have to imagine that Carlesimo will make that point when he's asked about whether or not Blatche and Lopez will play alongside each other going forward.

From there, the Hornets went on a bit of a run, tying the ballgame up at 78-78, before Blatche tipped in a offensive rebound just before the buzzer.

At the start of the fourth, we had a ballgame on our hands.

Carlesimo went back to the Blatche and Lopez in the middle, which resulted in a 14-6 run to start the quarter. From there it was just a matter of pushing back each time the Hornets tried to make a game of it. For the Nets, they continued to respond, pulling away and winning their fourth in their last five, 108-98. Bottom line: the two played together for a little more than 13 minutes, were +4. Prior to the Hornets, Lopez and Blatche had played a total of 60 minutes together.

Final note: no Reggie Evans in the fourth quarter. So, there's that.

For more on the Hornets, see: At The Hive