Nets look to one-up their surprise victory with a winning streak in Charlotte

Hollis-Jefferson, Kaminsky
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Opponent: Charlotte Hornets
Time: 7:00PM EST
Location: Spectrum Center
Watch: YES Network/FOX Sports Go
Listen: WFAN 101.9/660 AM

Well, that was a surprise.

The Brooklyn Nets had their best game of the season Friday night in New Orleans against the Pelicans as they dominated throughout en route to a 143-114 win.

It was a big win for the Nets as they snapped an 11-game losing streak, a 15-game losing streak on the road, and put up the most points in franchise history in a non-overtime game since 1982.

Everyone contributed in the win as eight players score in double figures — eight! That’s not a typo! Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 23 points each, but it was Caris LeVert who stole the spotlight.

LeVert scored 17 points on perfect shooting from the field, 6-6 FG, 3-3 3PT and 2-2 FT, while also dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds. In fact, LeVert is the first rookie with a 15/5/5 line while making all of his FGA since Charles Barkley way back in 1985.

Can they play like that every night?

The Nets will have a chance to put on an encore against the Charlotte Hornets in another back-to-back contest on the road. Unfortunately, the Hornets are coming off an impressive 35-point victory over the Toronto Raptors yesterday, a team that smoked the Nets not more than a few days ago.

The season series is split at 1-1 as the Hornets took the first game, but the Nets won the second on Randy Foye’s buzzer-beater the day after Christmas.

The Hornets are last in the NBA in opponent three-pointers attempted per game at 30.7, while the Nets are third in attempts. After shooting nearly 50% from deep against the Pelicans, you can safely expect the Nets to fire away from deep tonight.

During Charlotte’s recent five-game road losing streak, each team made 10 or more three-pointers, so can the Nets take advantage of this?

Of course, Jeremy Lin will miss another game against his former franchise, but Joe Harris, who sprained his ankle last night, will also miss out. Trevor Booker and Sean Kilpatrick are expected to return after getting the night off in New Orleans.

3 Things to Watch for in Nets-Hornets:

1. Can the Nets get their first back-to-back wins?

The Nets are seeking their first winning streak of the season and, coming off a dominant performance against the Pelicans, confidence is high. Kilpatrick, who scored 23 in the Nets’ win over the Hornets in December, and Booker will return to the lineup fresh, so look for them to be difference makers tonight.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 26 points in their last meeting and is coming off a 23-point performance against the Pelicans.

2. Caris LeVert’s Emergence

In a playoff-lost season, LeVert has been one of the Nets’ silver linings since his return in early December. Pretty impressive, right? The no. 20 overall pick has averaged 15.5 points per game in his last two and expect him to get more minutes with Harris out.

3. Containing Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker will likely be a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Stars and rightfully so. The Bronx native is averaging career-highs in points per game with 23.2, FG% at 46% and 3PT at 42%. Walker is coming off a dynamic performance Friday night against the Raptors, where he dropped 32 points and 8 assists. The point guard will be a tough defensive assignment for the Nets all night — who is up to the task?

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