Deron Williams poured in a game-high 33 points and dished out eight assists to help the Brooklyn Nets edge the New Orleans Hornets, 101-97, on Tuesday.
Brook Lopez added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and C.J. Watson dropped in 10 points for the Nets, who were without Joe Johnson (foot) for the third straight game.
"As a team, we got off to a great start in that first half. We've had this problem all season where we've had a quarter or a half that was the complete opposite, and that's kind of what happened tonight," Williams said. "A lot of it was their defense. They really turned their defense up and seemed more focused in the second half. We need to figure out a way to not have those halves and quarters and be able to put teams away early."
Greivis Vasquez scored 20 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists and Robin Lopez added 14 points and pulled down seven boards for the Hornets, who have dropped four of their last five games.
"We just had so many mistakes tonight defensively in things that we know better. It just didn't work out the way we drew it up in our film sessions and on the floor," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "But I love the way our guys compete. Even when we get down, the guys just continue to compete and play until there's no more time on the clock. That is something I am really proud of."
Rookie forward Anthony Davis scored six points before leaving the game in the third quarter with an apparent left shoulder injury.
Brooklyn shot a blistering 66.7 percent (14-for-21) in the first quarter to race out to a 31-20 lead. Williams scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor in the quarter.
The Nets stayed hot in the second, shooting 56.3 (9-for-16) percent to take a 57-41 lead into the break.
The Hornets made up some ground in the third, outscoring the Nets 24-16 in the frame.
New Orleans shaved the lead to four points several times and once got it down to three in the fourth quarter, but the Nets always seemed to have an answer.
Vazquez's layup with 4:01 left made it 86-82, but Brook Lopez scored the next four points to push the spread to 90-82 with 1:41 remaining.
Robin Lopez knocked down a pair of free throws eight seconds later, but Williams countered with a deep 3-pointer to make it a nine-point game with just under 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
After trading makes, Vasquez canned a 3-ball to cut the lead to 95-89 with 46.7 seconds remaining and Anderson knocked down another triple with 19.3 ticks showing to make it 95-92.
Williams made a pair of free throws before Anderson drilled a 22-foot turnaround jumper from the left corner. Anderson took an inbounds pass in the corner and quickly turned and fired away, but couldn't get his right foot behind the line.
Williams buried another pair of free throws to make it a five-point game with 15.3 seconds left, but Vasquez drained another 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left to give the Hornets a shred of hope.
However, Williams sunk yet another pair of free throws and Vasquez's desperation heave at the buzzer was no good.
The Nets went 12-for-20 from behind the arc (60 percent) ... Brooklyn had dropped four straight in New Orleans ... Williams was 9-for-10 for the game from the free throw line ... Eric Gordon scored 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting for the Hornets.