Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets used a balanced attack in their 115-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and gain an edge in a key game for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The teams entered the night tied for the eighth seed in the East.
For the fourth straight game, all five Hornets starters reached double figures, led by Al Jefferson and Gerald Henderson with 19 points each. Marvin Williams scored 18, and Cody Zeller added 13 off the bench.
Mo Williams contributed 14 points and 14 assists and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also posted a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Nets lost their two-game winning streak despite getting 12 points and six assists from Deron Williams. Mason Plumlee and Bojan Bogdanovic each scored 11.
Markel Brown's layup 1 1/2 minutes into the game tied the game at 2-2, but Charlotte immediately embarked on an 11-0 run, starting with a Marvin Williams 3.
Baskets by Brook Lopez and Deron Williams temporarily cooled the Hornets, but they could not be contained. An 8-0 run with four points apiece from Jefferson and Kidd-Gilchrist extended Charlotte's lead to 24-6.
"We knew starting the first quarter was going to be a big key for us, and we started off hitting a lot of open shots," Jefferson said.
The Hornets led 35-15 after one after shooting 65.2 percent and limiting the Nets to 30 percent.
"We just came out flat," said Nets coach Lionel Hollins. "They beat us in every facet of the game."
Brooklyn's defense woke up in the second period and held Charlotte to 5-of-20 shooting. An 8-0 run that included 3s from Deron Williams and Thaddeus Young narrowed the Nets' deficit to 13 points with 5:49 to play.
The Nets closed the half on a 7-2 run and Charlotte led 56-44 at the break.
Brooklyn could not carry that momentum out of the locker room, though, and a 12-1 Hornets run with six points from Jefferson soon put Charlotte up 70-47.
Back-to-back 3s from Henderson and Mo Williams ran the Hornets' advantage up to 27 points and they led 88-66 after three.
Even with the Hornets emptying their bench for the final period, the game got worse for Brooklyn. The Charlotte reserves scored 23 points and shot 50 percent to extend its lead to a game-high 32 points before the Nets finished the game on a modest 17-9 run to make the final a little more respectable.
Charlotte improved to 7-8 in the second half of back-to-back sets ... On this date three years ago, Deron Williams scored a career-high 57 points and set a Brooklyn franchise record ... The Nets never led ... Charlotte outrebounded Brooklyn, 49-38.