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Russell leads Brooklyn’s balanced attack in 111-104 victory over Magic

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tank you very much.

The Nets defeated the tanking Magic on Wednesday with a 111-104 victory in Orlando. The Nets had seven different players in double figures and controlled the tempo for most of the game. They’re now 24-51 on the season.

D’Angelo Russell recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 assists to just two turnovers ... and his second double-digit assist total in three games. Six other players finished in double figures but none more than 14 points and none fewer than 12.

Every time Nets looked like they would take off, the Magic would answer with a small run to keep their head above water. With less than six minutes in the third, the Nets took a commanding 15-point lead. Entering the fourth, they led by just four.

Then, finally, they gathered some momentum early in the fourth and took a 19-point lead following a 14-1 run. The Magic went the opening six minutes of the fourth without a field goal. Defense!

The Magic sat Jonathan Isaac, Jonathon Simmons, Wesley Iwundu, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross, but they still had Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. The front court tandem has done serious damage against the Nets this season.

In two games against the Nets this season, Gordon has averaged 30.5 points and 13 rebounds on 58 percent shooting and 54 percent from three; Vucevic 26.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on 59 percent shooting and 46 percent from three. Both missed one game each in the matchup. Both had career games of 41 points vs. Brooklyn.

Vucevic had a good individual game Wednesday with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Aaron Gordon was held in check by his standards with 15 points.

The other six Nets in double figures had very similar numbers: Caris LeVert off the bench (16 points and six assists), Jarrett Allen (15 points and eight rebounds), DeMarre Carroll (14 points and 12 rebounds), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (14 points and nine rebounds), Joe Harris (14 points and five rebounds) and Allen Crabbe (13 points).

The Nets shot 46 percent from the field and took care of the rock with just eight turnovers and 28 assists. They snapped a three-game skid and will face Miami on Saturday night.


Alex Labidou of did a Q & A with former Net Kerry Kittles, a major piece during the New Jersey Nets’ consecutive title runs in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. Here’s what he told Labidou.

Those two years we went to the [NBA] Finals. Those two years were great years. Listen, when you’re an athlete at any level – high school, college or pro athlete – you want to be on a competitive team. You want to know that on any given night, you’re going to beat the best teams that you are playing against – in your conference, division, in your county if you’re in high school, wherever.

For us, for those two years, we could beat any team in the league. That’s a great feeling and you’re having fun with your teammates. Those two years, we really had a good time together as a group. We got along great. We shared the ball, we played together and we didn’t care who scored. Two really great years of being an athlete.

Always good to hear about the New Jersey Nets -- specifically the Jason Kidd teams. Kidd is likely to be named to the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend.


With the Nets win, their first round pick, now currently enshrined in Cleveland, has dropped to the seventh spot. If they had lost, it would risen to No. 4. Instead, the Magic are fourth. That’s how close the tanking race in the NBA has become.

Meanwhile, the Nets three picks currently sit at 29, 40 and 43. The Nets also have $5.1 million in cash considerations they use to buy picks or move up.