Lopez, Nets edge Hornets
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Brook Lopez scored 34 points -- including 10 in the fourth quarter -- and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Brooklyn Nets to an 91-88 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Deron Williams added 10 points and handed out 14 assists to help Brooklyn win for the third time in four games and tie Charlotte for ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
"We've just been playing great together as a team," said Lopez. "We're all playing with a lot of confidence in each other."
Despite 23 points apiece from Al Jefferson and Gerald Henderson, the Hornets lost for the fifth time in six games.
Lopez could have easily been the goat. Inbounding the ball with the Nets up three with three seconds left, his pass to Williams under duress was tipped out of bounds by Williams. However, Lopez redeemed himself a moment later when he deflected Charlotte's inbounds pass to seal the win.
"We're going to have to play 48 minutes of focused basketball," said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. "I'd say we had a 3 1/2-to-4 minute stretch where we didn't do that, and it cost us."
The Nets could not preserve an eight-point advantage with eight minutes to play. They hit just two shots over the next 5 1/2 minutes, and a pair of free throws from Mo Williams tied the game at 79-79 with 2:35 to play.
Charlotte tied the game two more times down the stretch but could not go ahead.
The Hornets led 26-23 after a back-and-forth first quarter. Jefferson scored eight points, and Walker's layup in the closing seconds extended Charlotte's edge to three.
Bismack Biyombo's three-point play early in the second period gave the Hornets a 10-point lead, but the Nets chipped away. Lopez scored Brooklyn's last six points of the half to cut Charlotte's lead to 46-42 at the break.
With five minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Nets took their first lead since the opening period on Alan Anderson's layup. They would not trail the remainder of the game, but they did lose Thaddeus Young for the night when he hyperextended his knee after he got his legs tangled up with Henderson.
Brooklyn led 68-64 after three when Bojan Bogdanovic beat the buzzer with a pull-up jumper from the free throw line.
Brooklyn won the season series, 2-1 ... Charlotte assistant coach Mark Price is reportedly becoming the head coach of Conference-USA's Charlotte 49ers ... With three blocks, Lopez became the second player in Nets history to block 700 shots in his career ... Young finished with 11 points before exiting.