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Brooklyn Nets add some buzz to their playoff hopes with 91-88 victory over Charlotte Hornets

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets can thank Brook Lopez for practically saving their season. They defeated the Charlotte Hornets, 91-88, behind a 34-point, 10-rebound night from Brook Lopez.

He scored 22 of the 34 in the second half.

With tonight's victory, the Nets tied the Hornets' record of 30-40, but thanks to the win, they own the tiebreaker after sealing the season-series 2-1. With a Boston loss, the Nets would trail just 0.5 games out of the eighth seed in the East. Somehow.

It didn't come easy.

As the Nets and Hornets exchanged buckets down the stretch, Brook Lopez made Sam Presti look like a foolish man for deflecting the trade that would've sent Lopez to OKC. Billy Kings isn't complaining as Lopez scored the go-ahead bucket with 23 seconds left, then blocked Kemba Walker's attempt to tie the game with 13 seconds left.

The game looked to be over as Brooklyn led by three with possession, but Lopez turned the ball over on the inbounds. The Nets, however, deflected the inbound pass as time expired. It wouldn't have been a Nets' game without barely escaping. Despite the turnover, Brook was the hero.

Lopez's night was one to remember. The big fella blocked three shots and shot 16-of-26 from the floor in 40 minutes. It was a chess match between Lopez and Charlotte's big man, Al Jefferson, who went for 23 points and 10 rebounds, but Lopez and the Nets prevailed. It's Brook's fourth straight game scoring 25 or more points, furthermore proving his word that the foot injury is behind him. In his last four games, Brook has averaged 30.8 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 37 minutes and 65.8% shooting.

Big things from Brooklyn's big man. Although, things weren't all so swell for Brooklyn's big men, though.

At 4:58 mark of the third, Thaddeus Young collided with Gerald Henderson and went down immediately. He was down in pain with Tim Walsh checking his knee, while fans and players silently watched him grimace on the floor. He did, however, walk himself  to the locker room. Later in the quarter, it was announced that Thaddeus Young would sit out the remainder of the game with a hyperextended left knee. The team says he'll be re-evaluated tomorrow. While x-rays were negative, Young said he'd most likely undergo an MRI on return to New Jersey.  Young said he hoped to be back on the court soon ... and expected he'd feel a lot worse in the morning.

His wife tweeted out her relief.


Once again, Brooklyn's Backcourt had a tough night with a 4-for-18 shooting game from Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Williams did, however, finish with 10 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, a near triple-double for the second straight game.

Kemba Walker struggled for Charlotte. He missed on the game-tying attempt and shot just 4-of-13 from the field. Gerald Henderson filled in his role nicely, though, after scoring 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting.

The Nets scored 54 points in the paint compared to Charlotte's 36, a category Brooklyn has owned since the All-Star break. Brooklyn dished out 28 assists despite shooting the ball 43% from the field and 21.4% from three. It was the same case on the other end, as Charlotte shot 39.6% from the field and 25% from three. It was a defense brawl.

Things get interesting from here on out. The Nets stand 0.5 games out of the playoffs with 12 games remaining, despite a below-average 30-40 record. They'll need to regain their composure on their home court this Friday as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town. The Nets are the sixth worst team in the NBA on their home floor.

They'll need to get that "Hello Brooklyn" attitude back.

Quarter by quarter

First... It was a close opening quarter with bright offensive spurts from both teams. The Nets shot 44%, the Hornets 46% with Al Jefferson opening the quarter with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. He's been dealing with a knee injury. For Brooklyn, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young scored six apiece. However, they trailed 26-23.

Second... Brook Lopez scored Brooklyn's last six points of the fourth quarter, and they weren't easy to come by. The Nets scored just 19 points in the quarter, but allowed just 20 points in the quarter, which kept them afloat. Lopez finished with 12 and six on the half, but as a team the Nets shot 39% in the half. They were lucky to trail by only four.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson finished the half with five points on 2-of-11 shooting. Wrong time for the two to struggle.

Score at the half: Hornets 46, Nets 42.

Third... The Nets when on a 9-2 run to finally tie the game back up at 58. Moments later, a very scary moment happened for Brooklyn. Thaddeus Young collided with Gerald Henderson and immediately went down in pain. The gym went quiet as players and fans watched on as Young grimaced in pain. He did, however, walk himself into the locker room.

It didn't stop the Nets from regaining control in this game though, as they outscored the Hornets 26-18 in the quarter and led, 68-64. Lopez was going off with 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Fourth... As the Nets and Hornets exchanged buckets down the stretch, Brook Lopez made Sam Presti look like a foolish man for deflecting the trade that would've sent Lopez to OKC. No matters, though, as Lopez scored the go-ahead bucket with 23 seconds left, then blocked Kemba Walker's attempt to tie the game with 13 seconds left.

The game looked to be over as Brooklyn led by three with possession, but Lopez turned the ball over on the inbounds. The Nets, however, deflected the inbound pass as time expired. It wouldn't have been a Nets' game without barely escaping. Despite the turnover, Brook was the hero.

Final score: Nets 91, Hornets 88.