Brooklyn Nets: 3 takeaways from landmark win at Orlando

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets D’Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets on Friday completed the biggest comeback win since leaving New Jersey, coming from 21 points down to beat the Orlando Magic 117-115.

Not even a 21-point deficit Friday night could keep the Brooklyn Nets from getting over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

After the Orlando Magic spent the better part of three quarters seemingly unable to miss a shot, the Nets held them to just one basket and four points over the final 4:49 of the game, closing the game on a 14-4 run to beat the Magic 117-115.

The win came after Brooklyn (24-23) trailed by as much as 21 points, falling behind 58-37 with 4:35 to go in the first half.

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The comeback win was the largest by the Nets since the club moved to Brooklyn in 2012 and its biggest since the New Jersey Nets wiped out a 21-point deficit in a 90-84 win over the Washington Wizards in the lockout-delayed season opener on Dec. 26, 2011.

The Nets moved over the .500 mark for the first time this season with the win to hold onto sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, now a game ahead of the seventh-place Miami Heat (21-22), who lost on the road to the Detroit Pistons Friday night, 98-93.

Brooklyn now leads the eighth-place Charlotte Hornets (21-23) by 1½ games, maintained a 2½-edge over the ninth-place Pistons (20-24) and are now four games ahead of both the 10th-place Magic and 11th-place Washington Wizards, both holding 19-26 records.

Since the above list went with a four-game margin, it’s worth pointing out the Nets are now four games in back of the fifth-place Boston Celtics (27-18) in the Eastern standings, as well.

The Nets took their first lead since it was 2-0, capping a 10-0 run with Spencer Dinwiddie‘s four-point play with 54.9 seconds left to go up 113-111 with 54.9 seconds left.

After Nikola Vucevic tied the game for the Magic with a tough hook shot, D’Angelo Russell took the ball upcourt for Brooklyn and drained his eighth 3-pointer of the night on a vicious step-back move against Evan Fournier to give the Nets their largest lead of the night at 116-113.

Treveon Graham was called for a potentially devastating foul at the other end when he was whistled for fouling Terrence Ross on a 3-point attempt (a play that will no doubt be listed in the Official 2-Minute Report from this game sometime Saturday morning, given that Ross kicked out his leg, not part of his “natural shooting motion.”)

But the Nets caught a huge break when Ross missed the second of his three free-throw attempts, leaving Brooklyn up one with 22.5 seconds left.

Dinwiddie split a pair of free throws with 9.6 seconds to go to push the Nets back up by two. Orlando went for the last shot, but Fournier missed a floater over DeMarre Carroll‘s challenge and the Nets had the inexplicable win.

Brooklyn shot 45.4 percent (44-for-97) on the night and wound up canning 19-of-46 from 3-point range (41.3 percent) and won despite being outrebounded 49-41 and surrendering a 13-8 edge to the Magic in second-chance points.

The Nets made up for that with an 11-6 advantage in fast-break scoring.

Orlando hit 50 percent (47-for-94) and was 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from deep, but in the fourth quarter, the Magic was just 8-of-21 overall and were just 1-for-3 from long range.

Russell matched his career-high with 40 points, hitting 16-of-25 overall and going a sizzling 8-for-12 from 3-point range. It was Russell’s hot second quarter, in which he dropped 19 straight points for Brooklyn, that kept the Nets in the game after they fell behind by 21 points.

Russell also had seven assists. Dinwiddie added 20 points, scoring 18 of them in the second half. Jarrett Allen finished with 10 rebounds and four blocks — his second straight four-block performance.

Shabazz Napier dropped in 12 points, Joe Harris finished with 11 and Carroll scored 10.

Aaron Gordon had 23 points to lead Orlando, but left the game with 9:19 remaining due to tightness in his lower back and did not return. Vucevic finished with 16 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, Fournier logged 16 points and four steals.

Ross had 13 points and two blocks and Jonathan Isaac also blocked a pair of shots.

The Nets once again have the weekend off and will return to action Monday back in Brooklyn with a Martin Luther King Day matinee against the Sacramento Kings with a 3:30 p.m. Eastern tip.

Here are three takeaways from the Nets’ remarkable win over the Magic.