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Nets score 70 points in 2nd half, still come up short in Charlotte: 111-107

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets (9-43) and Hornets (24-28) both entered Tuesday streaking for all the wrong reasons.

The reeling Hornets came into this one on a 7-game losing streak, but shook off the rust and extended Brooklyn’s losing streak to 10, 111-107, Tuesday night at the Spectrum Center. The Hornets, currently standing at ninth in the East, desperately needed this one.

The Nets on the other hand, just needed a win in general.

They’ve lost 23 of their last 25. The ugliest stat, however, might be how the Nets have allowed 100 or more points in 34 straight road games. That coincides with their 2-23 record on the road this season. Oh, and they haven’t beaten an Eastern Conference team on the road since January 2 of last season!

They played well on the defensive side and held Kemba Walker to just 4-of-20 shooting, but a horrid first half effort ultimately did them in. Usually it’s the other way around, but on Tuesday the Nets scored a season-low 37 points in the first half before adding 70 in the second.

Brooklyn came out of the halftime break with extra energy and better execution, which led to their explosion in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 17-point halftime hole.

Usually we outline things in order from good, bad and ugly. This one was simply just ugly. The Hornets started the game on a 14-4 run and they didn’t look back. Brook Lopez (two points, 1-for-6) and the starters struggled mightily in the first half. Other than Bojan Bogdanovic (11 points), the four starters combined for nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.

The bench checked in and provided some energy but that was about it. Brooklyn shot 32.5 percent and 4-of-15 from 3-point range, as the Hornets led by 17 and held the Nets to a season-low 38 points in the half.

And then, it was like a light bulb went on.

The Nets started the second half on a 15-5 run and cut the 17-point deficit down to seven in less than four minutes. Not long after, the Hornets went on a 9-0 run and extended the lead back to double digits, yet the Nets stayed persistent. They dropped 35 points in the third – three less than they scored total in the third quarter – and cut the deficit down to nine entering the fourth quarter.

So, there was a chance…

As the fourth quarter rolled along, so did Brooklyn’s momentum. Joe Harris capped off a 9-2 run and made it a four-point game midway through the final frame. They stayed close enough, but the Hornets answered with an 8-2 run and extended their lead back to 10 with a little less than three minutes remaining.

The script was similar: they cut it down to three, and then two with six seconds but failed to ultimately overcome. Star of the comeback was Bogdanovic, who dropped off a neat pass to Lopez, then hit two big three’s of his own to bring them close.

"We came out with a completely different energy and that gave us a chance to win,” Bogdanovic said post-game.

Brooklyn’s most impressive feat of the night was their defense on Kemba Walker. They contained him to a horrid 4-of-20 shooting, while the Hornets as a whole shot just 39 percent from the field. Nic Batum and Marco Belinelli led the way with 17 apiece.

Brooklyn’s most unimpressive feat, however, was execution. Like most close games, they made simply mistakes that ultimately did them in. Silly turnovers, missed defensive assignments and poor shot selection. It’s expected from a young team, but it doesn’t make things better…

After a two-point first half, Lopez finished with 20 points and four blocked shots. Bogdanovic dropped 22, while Harris (12 points), Isaiah Whitehead (11 points) and Trevor Booker (10 points, 12 rebounds) anchored the bench. The bench generated 45 points total.

"We’re ready for a breakthrough, despite the defeat I feel like we’re making progress. We get another shot at it tomorrow,” said Kenny Atkinson.


Caris LeVert (knee soreness), Quincy Acy (sprained ankle) and Jeremy Lin (hamstring) were all out against the Hornets. LeVert is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow against the Wizards.

Hollis-Jefferson was back in the starting lineup at the power forward position, sending Trevor Booker to the bench with the reserves. RHJ finished with a career-high four blocks to go along with seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Whitehead was also back with the reserves as Spencer Dinwiddie got the nod at starting point.

Next up: Washington Wizards, tomorrow at Barclays Center.