The Brooklyn Nets outlasted the Charlotte Hornets in 2 OTs Wednesday and now head to Charlotte Friday with a chance to pass the Hornets in the East.
After a double-overtime thriller full of twists, turns and oddities, the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets will tee it up again Friday, this time at Spectrum Center in Charlotte for a 7 p.m. Eastern tip.
The Nets outlasted the Hornets Wednesday at Barclays Center, pulling out a 134-132 win when Joe Harris scored after a steal with 3.4 seconds left. The ending was bizarre, as the clock operator left the shot clock operating after the turnover.
As Kemba Walker brought the ball upcourt for the Hornets, the shot clock buzzer sounded with about 1.6 seconds left in the game, leading to a stoppage in play and a sideline inbounds for Charlotte, but Malik Monk‘s desperation 3-point attempt from inside the center-court logo was off-target.
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Brooklyn had blown a six-point lead in the second overtime before securing the win, but that came only after the Nets had battled back from an eight-point deficit in the final 3:19 of regulation and had to stave off defeat with a late free throw from Spencer Dinwiddie in the first overtime.
The Nets (17-19) are the NBA’s hottest team with nine wins in their last 10 games. Currently ninth in the Eastern Conference, Brooklyn can pass the Hornets (16-17) in the standings with a victory Friday night.
Brooklyn is also a half-game behind the eighth-place Miami Heat (also 16-17), who host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. The Nets are a game in back of the sixth-place Detroit Pistons, who are on the road Friday to face the Indiana Pacers.
The Nets will be without guard Allen Crabbe for the eighth straight game. Crabbe participated Thursday in a full practice for the first time since injuring his right knee in Brooklyn’s Dec. 12 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers, but will remain sidelined for at least one more game.
Charlotte’s season of short streaks continued with the loss Wednesday. The Hornets have dropped two in a row after winning two straight, which was preceded by two consecutive losses. Charlotte has not had a streak of more than three games in either direction this season.
Remarkably, the Hornets have been more than one game away from the .500 mark just once this season, when they fell to 11-13 after a Dec. 5 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Charlotte is the living embodiment, it appears, of mediocre.
The last time the Nets were this close to .500 was on Nov. 16, when they beat the Washington Wizards in D.C. to get back to 7-9.
Here are three things to watch as Brooklyn and Charlotte run it back Friday night.