Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets Takeaways and Grades 12/26/16

Dec 26, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin (7) dribbles the ball as Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) defends during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets finally snapped their five-game losing streak after beating the Charlotte Hornets at home. It came down to the wire and the Nets lost Jeremy Lin again, but they did it.

It’s a post-Christmas miracle! The Brooklyn Nets looked pretty awful in the first half against the Hornets, but their second half comeback was successful.

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The first half of last night’s game can be summed up in three words: lack of defense. Brooklyn allowed Charlotte to score 40 points in the first quarter, and the Hornets finished the first half with 63 points, to the Nets’ 54.

What kept the Nets afloat in the first half was combined production of many of their starters. Jeremy Lin led Brooklyn with 15 first half points, and Sean Kilpatrick followed with 10.

Unfortunately, bad news would hit the Nets early into the third quarter. Lin exited the game with 7:47 remaining in the period, and the Nets announced that he would not return. They also revealed that Lin suffered the same injury, a strained left hamstring, that forced him to miss over a month of action. He finished the game with 17 points.

Luckily for the Nets, before Lin’s departure, they were able to begin their comeback, cutting the Hornets’ lead to 68-66. Brooklyn went on to take the lead just moments later. However, the Hornets closed in once again, answering back with a 9-0 run, and they held a 88-83 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

The Nets would just not go away, playing peskier than ever in the fourth quarter. Brooklyn outscored the Hornets 15-10 in the first four-and-a-half minutes of the final period to tie the game at 98. Then, the Nets were the first team to eclipse the 100-point mark, taking the lead for the first time in the fourth with 6:58 remaining, 100-98. 

Brooklyn’s fourth quarter comeback was defined by Kilpatrick and Brook Lopez. Kilpatrick hit two threes in the fourth, one of them coming down the stretch to put the Nets up 114-111. Meanwhile, Lopez scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, hit crucial free throws, and made plays when it counted. Additionally, all of Lopez’s fourth quarter layups were assisted by Kilpatrick.

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But it would come down to the very last moments, as the Nets just could not hold onto an extensive lead in the fourth. A three-pointer by Nicolas Batum with 32 seconds remaining brought the Hornets within one, 116-117. On the Nets’ next possession, Bojan Bogdanovic misfired from long distance, resulting in a Hornets rebound. 

Following Charlotte’s timeout, Trevor Booker was able to block Kemba Walker‘s layup attempt, but Cody Zeller got the offensive rebound and putback shot to go, putting the Hornets up 118-117 with two seconds left. Brooklyn needed a miracle, and they got one in the form of a Randy Foye game-winning three-pointer. Talk about a finish at home right after the holidays.

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