Nets 108, Hornets 98

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 12, 2013
Brook Lopez scored 26 points and had a big dunk over twin brother Robin, Deron Williams added 21 points and 13 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the New Orleans Hornets 108-98 on Tuesday night. Brooklyn squandered a 10-point lead in the third quarter before pulling off some timely baskets in the fourth to hang on for the win, bouncing back from a poor performance in a loss Monday at Philadelphia. Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 24 points. Robin Lopez had 15 points for the Hornets, who played without leading scorer Ryan Anderson because of the flu. Reggie Evans had 13 rebounds for Brooklyn, which won for the fourth time in five games and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the first-place New York Knicks in the Atlantic Division. Joe Johnson, who scored 20 points against Philadelphia on Monday, missed his fourth game of the season with a bruised left heel. Lopez scored 10 straight points for the Nets in the third quarter to preserve a narrow lead that dwindled slowly. His monster dunk over Robin with 3:49 left in the period was one that the Lopez family will be talking about for years. The Hornets eventually tied it at 78 on a 3-pointer by Roger Mason Jr. with 20 seconds left. Andray Blatche, who scored 12 of his 18 points in the second quarter, sunk a layup as time expired to give the Nets back the lead at 80-78. The Nets then pulled away in the fourth to sweep New Orleans for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Brooklyn had an easier time controlling the game's tempo in the first half, making scoring runs of 13-2 and 15-4, respectively. Both teams were 5 for 16 from 3-point range. Williams and Mirza Teletovic hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc to give the Nets a 36-29 lead. NOTES: P.J. Carlesimo is 24-13 as interim head coach of the Nets and is tied for the best start for a coach in franchise history with Lawrence Frank (2003-04). . Williams was presented with a ring from USA Basketball for his help in winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. ... The Nets have a long break and won't play again until Sunday when they host Atlanta, while the Hornets will travel to play Washington on Friday.
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