Coming off a tough home loss against the Pacers, the Nets bounced back and put together a 48-minute performance on Wednesday in a double-digit win over the (former) eighth seed in the East, the Charlotte Hornets.
After the first quarter, the Nets and Hornets were quite even — both scored 26 points on 8-22 shooting and struggled to find offense from any source.
Brooklyn limited the Hornets’ starting backcourt of Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier as they failed to make a field goal until the 6:06 mark in the second quarter. On the other side, the Hornets made it a point to not let Joe Harris beat them early, and he started 0-of-5 and struggled to find good looks in the first half.
The Nets started to gain steam in the second quarter and grabbed a double-digit lead on the backs of a strong first-half showing from DeAndre Jordan, who had 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting. Spencer Dinwiddie also did a good job of scoring and facilitating with 11 points and seven assists.
Brooklyn let the Hornets stick around with a few dunks and threes from Miles Bridges, and the Nets went into halftime with just a five-point lead.
In a twist of recent events, the third quarter brought positive things for Brooklyn. Jarrett Allen started to find his groove on both sides of the floor and notched 18 points and nine rebounds before reaching the fourth quarter.
After the third quarter, Brooklyn’s centers were 13-of-16 from the floor, and the defensive side of the ball made the difference overall. Brooklyn struggled coming out of halves with defensive intensity, and they limited the Hornets to just 22 points in the third quarter and never let the lead get out of hand.
In the fourth, the Nets’ second unit slowly let Charlotte creep back into the game, cutting the lead to as little as three points. Then, Allen completely took over on both sides of the floor.
In a big night for the big man, Allen hauled in a season-high 17 rebounds to go along with a season-high 22 points. Taurean Prince and Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points apiece and completed their best defensive performances, with Brooklyn allowing a season-low 91 points.
As Kyrie Irving’s return does not yet look imminent, the Nets will need to build on Wednesday’s success going into Friday’s matchup against Sacramento.
The stats: 22 PTS, 17 REB, 9-12 FG
This has to be the best Jarrett Allen game since last season’s 20-point, 24-rebound game against the Houston Rockets. Allen affected the game defensively, even without registering a single block — on one possession in the fourth quarter, he stuck Devonte Graham from the perimeter and forced an airball.
His 22 points and 17 rebounds are both season-highs, and Hornets bigs had no answer for him. Allen has progressed nicely as the season rolls on, and his level of play can be huge for a team that has been plagued by injuries.
The stats: 20 PTS, 8 AST, 7-18 FG, 2 STL
Spencer Dinwiddie did not have his most efficient game — he shot 7-of-18, but he put an emphasis on getting others involved in this game. Dinwiddie had a game-high seven assists at the half and hit the big shots when Brooklyn needed them.
He also caused KD to react like this:
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) November 21, 2019
You have to love KD’s faces from the bench. And his face described all Nets fans after this shot.
The stats: 20 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST
Taurean Prince has been shooting the heck out of the ball, and Wednesday was no different.
He has his moments where he shoots a bit too much, but for the most part, Prince was solid against the Hornets.
In the fourth quarter when the Nets were scrounging for buckets, Prince hit a big three and a fastbreak layup. In an offense that can struggle without Irving, Prince is a needed asset who can make things work when needed.
The stats: 8 PTS, 3-12 FG, 2-6 3FG
Wait, what? Joe Harris got a B- after going 3-of-12 from the field? That cannot be right.
Well, it is.
Although the shot was not dropping Wednesday for Lumber Joe, he still led the team in +/- with a plus-21. The threat of his jump shot and the way he moves off the ball was the focal point on how the Hornets defended all night. He saw the attention he was getting and moved the ball, pump-faked and constantly had Charlotte defenders on their heels.
Oh, and he hit a huge three late and caused the Nets’ bench to do this:
The Nets bench celebrations are back with Kyrie and KD 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ODj48xKovR
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 21, 2019
The bench loves it. Nets fans love it. Harris knocked it down when-needed, and Brooklyn didn’t need to play this one down to the wire because of it.