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Nets defeat Suns in fourth straight win at home, 94-91

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The sun hasn't often shined bright in Brooklyn this season.

But Tuesday, the Suns were out and the Nets were able to set them, 94-91.

It was a solid first half for the Nets. They led by nine at half even though they failed to hit a three. They shot 56 percent and scored 36 points in the paint.

But third quarter woes would continue...

The Suns went on a 15-0 run and regained control of the game. They scored 31 points on 9-of-18 shooting. A 14-2 run then carried over into the fourth and the Nets found themselves down by nine. Just like that, it was another game of catch up in the fourth quarter.

With Thaddeus Young struggling on the night (3-for-14), the Nets failed to make much progress with Brook Lopez on the bench. With Tyson Chandler, the Suns' best rim protector, watching from the sidelines, Lopez had dominated in the paint.

Then the big fella came in and the Nets offense was back to normal. They regained the lead following a 12-2 run, capped off with a Wayne Ellington transition layup. Nets were up five with 2:41 remaining.

The one goal: FINISH THEM. The emphasis on "finish them"  is because of the Nets' inability to close out games.

With less than two minutes remaining, Joe Johnson and then Thaddeus Young nailed back-to-back mid-range jumpers to put Brooklyn up five.

The Suns brought it to within three -- four seconds left, but Rondae Hollis-Jefferson swiped the ball out of Brandon Knight's hands as he attempted a desperate last-second three-pointer.

The Nets have won their fourth straight game at home and second straight overall. They'll face the Knicks at MSG Friday night.

Despite a 4-for-13 shooting night from three, the Nets made up for it with their dominance inside the paint, outscoring Phoenix, 50-34.

Lopez was a force down low, finishing with 23 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Jarrett Jack was the only other Nets starter to finish in double figures.

"Hopefully we'll see the environment continue to grow and turn in our favor as we continue to be successful," Lopez said of the Nets advantage at home. "It's gonna be a huge advantage for us down the stretch as we fill those seats & get more people rooting us on because it was huge late."

As the New York Mets and their fans know: Only wins will create that.

Off the bench, Wayne Ellington finished with 11 points, while Shane Larkin chipped in a CRUCIAL 11 points and eight assists. He actually finished the game on the court, receiving crunch-time minutes alongside Jarrett Jack. It was a big day for the Nets bench, who also received a big energy boost from Thomas Robinson and a 3-for-5 performance from Bojan Bogdanovic.

"Their bench guys played well," Brandon Knight said post-game. "They came in and gave them a lift, and that's what I think got them over the edge. Like I said, they played well to finish out the game."

In his return to Brooklyn, Mirza Teletovic scored 12 points on four three-pointers. Otherwise, Brandon Knight led the team with 26 points and seven rebounds, with Eric Bledsoe chipping in 17.

Hey, that's two straight games the Nets hit shots and made big stops when they needed them most. This team is 5-13, but they've been closer than you'd think in most games. Not to mention, they've have a pretty difficult schedule.

"I think we were battle tested early," Jack said of November's road-heavy schedule. "It's kinda set our minds to grind these type of games out that aren't the prettiest."

Take that, Bill Simmons!

For more on the Phoenix Suns, check them out at Bright Side Of The Sun.