(SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams gunning for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference tangle down south, as the Charlotte Hornets welcome the Brooklyn Nets to Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Hornets are only a half-game out of the eighth and final postseason spot in the East, while the Nets sit 1 1/2 games off the pace.
Charlotte hasn't been playing its best basketball of late and is coming off a rough five-game road trip (1-4). In Monday's 98-86 defeat to the Chicago Bulls, Kemba Walker scored 29 points on 11-of-24 shooting and Mo Williams followed with 15 off the bench.
Gerald Henderson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points for the Hornets, who scored 37 points in the second half, shot 34.6 percent and made only eight of their 20 3-point attempts.
"It's a lot of fun. It's wide," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of the playoff race. "You play, and we have a good opportunity."
The Hornets have a 16-18 record at home and will return to the road Friday against the Washington Wizards, another contender in the playoff picture.
Hornets center Al Jefferson (sore knee) and forward Cody Zeller (shoulder) are questionable Wednesday.
Brooklyn had won two straight and four of five games until Monday's 110-91 setback to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are clinging to the last postseason spot in the conference.
The Nets were paced by Brook Lopez's 31 points on 12-of-19 shooting, Thaddeus Young scored 12 points and Deron Williams fell short of a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Brooklyn made only 36 percent for the game and got just six points from Joe Johnson.
Celtics guard Evan Turner finished with 19 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his second career triple-double.
"We don't match up with them very well," said Nets coach Lionel Hollins. "We scrambled and battled... Ultimately, we couldn't stop them and we couldn't score."
Lopez didn't seem to have trouble with Boston and has scored at least 26 points while shooting 60 percent or better from the field in each of his last three games, matching the longest such streak in the Nets' history.
Williams is three assists shy of passing Darwin Cook for third on the team's assist list. He has 1,968 assists in his career with the Nets.
After visiting the Hornets, the Nets will return to Barclays Center for three games versus Cleveland, LA Lakers and Indiana. The Nets are 17-20 on the road and the only team in the NBA with a better road mark than at home.
The Nets and Hornets have split two games this season. The Nets are 10-3 in the last 13 games in this series.