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NETS WANT PLAYOFFS: Handle business over Orlando, await result of Pacers-Grizzlies for playoff hopes

Brooklyn Nets

BROOKLYN -- The stumbling Nets got the win they needed, 101-88, over the Orlando Magic with their entire season riding on it.

However, they're hoping it's not too late. They owned control of their destiny but lost two straight games while the Pacers have won six straight and taken over the eighth seed. If the Pacers lose against the Grizzlies in Memphis, the Nets will advance to the playoffs.

The win didn't come as easy as they thought it'd be. They struggled throughout the first half with the same problems: Lack of leadership, hustle and fight. Boo's were heard throughout the Barclays Center after the Nets went down 12 in the third quarter.

Luckily they had Bojan Bogdanovic ready to answer the call.

Bogdanovic kept the Nets afloat throughout the entire first half. He scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting as the Nets still trailed the subpar Magic by four. Then, after a tie score of 75-75 heading into the fourth, Bogdanovic led the Nets on a 22-6 run that gave them a 12-point lead with 2:48 remaining. He put the dagger home during the final minutes, which notched a career-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting and 4-of-8 from three.

The Nets NEEDED a spark. Bogdanovic was that spark. He's also a rookie. He deserves major props if the Nets make it into the postseason.

The Nets outscored the Magic 26-13 in the fourth quarter. They lacked fight in the first half, but came storming back on their dark horse when it mattered most.

The Nets dished out 25 assists and shot 49% from the field.

Deron Williams scored 10 points and seven assists in 36 minutes. He's been heavily criticized of late, namely Paul Pierce and most recently -- Reggie Miller.

The rest of the Brooklyn starters were solid in the second half. Of the five, zero of them were in double figures at half, but Brook Lopez finished with 14 and seven rebounds, Thaddeus Young with 16 and nine rebounds, and Joe Johnson with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Nikola Vucevic was a force against the Nets, as per usual. He went for 26 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Victor Oladipo chipped in 18 but was held to just four points in the fourth quarter.

"I'm just thankful our guys stepped up and did what they had to do...this was a big team win."  said Hollins, post-game. "Chemistry is as important as talent, you constantly have to work at it."

On Bogdanovic, Hollins said the Nets took advantage of the Magic's decision not to cover him.

"I could tell early that he had it going on. We kept trying to come back to him, get him some stuff. In that one stretch, they kpe leaving him open and he kept scoring."

This is it Nets fans. IF, IF the Nets make the playoffs, they will play Atlanta this Sunday. But before we worry about any of that...


For more on the Orlando Magic, check them out at Orlando Pinstriped Post.