The Brooklyn Nets dropped their 2nd straight game to finish 1-2 on their 3-game homestand, getting overwhelmed by the Charlotte Hornets in a 123-112 loss.
The Brooklyn Nets faltered at home against a sub-.500 opponent for the second straight game and lost a chance to secure a tiebreaker advantage against the Charlotte Hornets in a 123-112 loss at Barclays Center Friday night.
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The Nets (32-32) have now lost four of their last five at home and five of their last seven overall to fall back to the .500 mark and now hold a one-game lead over the Detroit Pistons (29-31) for sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
With the win, the Hornets (29-33) salvaged a 2-2 split in the season series with Brooklyn and climbed back into the top eight in the East, moving a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic and 1½ behind the Nets.
It was another game with a strong start and little else for Brooklyn. After taking an 8-2 lead, the Hornets fought back to make it a back-and-forth game.
Until the bottom dropped out on the Nets.
In an ugly loss Wednesday to the Washington Wizards, the game got away from Brooklyn in the third quarter, but it happened earlier on Friday against Charlotte, who outscored the Nets 37-18 in the second period to open an 18-point lead, 68-50, at the break.
The Nets committed 11 of their 17 turnovers in the second quarter, giving up 15 points on the giveaways ad the Hornets shot 61.5 percent (16-for-26) in the quarter. Charlotte never trailed after going up 42-41 with 7:43 to go in the half and closed the quarter on a 14-4 run.
Brooklyn went down by as much as 21 points in the third quarter before a strong finish made it 98-86 in favor of the Hornets at the end of the period, as the Nets closed the quarter on a 10-2 run.
D’Angelo Russell made three free throws with 8:49 to go to get the Nets back to within single digits at 104-95, but Charlotte put together a 10-3 burst to push the lead back out to 16 with 6:14 remaining and the Nets never seriously threatened again.
Brooklyn shot 51.2 percent (44-for-86) on the night and his 10-of-32 (31.2 percent) from deep, but were outrebounded 40-36, surrendered a 20-14 edge in second-chance points and were outscored off turnovers 18-11.
The problem for the Nets was that Charlotte hit 53.2 percent (50-for-94) overall and were 9-for-21 (42.9 percent) from deep.
In that second-quarter meltdown, the Hornets basically had a conga line to the rim, scoring 20 of their 37 points in the paint on 10-of-14 shooting inside.
D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points and had nine assists for Brooklyn, but was just 9-for-24 overall and 1-for-7 from long range. DeMarre Carroll added 20 points. Caris LeVert had 14 points and seven rebounds and Joe Harris also grabbed seven boards.
An unexpected key for Charlotte was 51 points off the bench, a second unit that had been struggling of late.
Frank Kaminsky had his biggest minutes load in nearly three months, playing for the first time since Valentine’s Day and just his sixth game since New Year’s, and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes.
The Nets have little time to recover, as they will play again Saturday night when they visit the Miami Heat (27-34), who lost Thursday night on the road to the Houston Rockets.
Here are three takeaways from a potentially very costly loss for Brooklyn.