BROOKLYN NETS CONTINUE THEIR RENAISSANCE AS A FRANCHISE

The 2018-19 renaissance of the Brooklyn Net franchise continued it’s momentum last night in Charlotte as the Nets outlasted the Hornets 117-115. This was a key matchup as entering the game, the Hornets were only 1 game back of the Nets for the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff hierarchy.

The Nets were led by All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell with 40 points. Russell also sealed the game with a dagger three-pointer at 39.8 seconds that put the Nets up for good. The Hornets had a last second opportunity to win the game but Caris Levert blocked Kemba Walker’s shot on a questionable “no-foul” call. Replays show that Levert actually blocked the shot with his elbow as he descended from his leap to defend Walker. It’s unclear whether he made contact with Walker’s body.  Ultimately, the Nets were victorious.

All-Star D’Angelo Russell and the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Charlotte Hornets 117-115, Saturday, February 23, 2019.

All-Star D’Angelo Russell and the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Charlotte Hornets 117-115, Saturday, February 23, 2019.

The Nets had been on a slide losing 7 of 10 without spark plug Spencer Dinwiddie who is still out with a finger injury that required surgery. They built up a 19 point lead into the third quarter with solid defense and great movement on the offensive side of the ball, but Kemba Walker led a fierce Charlotte comeback (Walker finished with 32 points) that had them ahead by as many as 8 points late into the 4th quarter.

The Nets would pull it together and mount their own comeback late capped off Russell’s clutch bucket. It appears the Nets rebuild is finally starting to come to fruition after 3 consecutive 50- plus loss seasons. They are now 31-30 and would face off against the 3rd seed Pacers if the season ended today.  With 21 games left in the year, the Nets must continue their improvement. There’s only 3.5 games which separate them and the Magic who are the 9th seed and are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.