NBA News Wire
Big third quarter lifts Nets over Lakers
LOS ANGELES — A pivotal third-quarter run lifted the Brooklyn Nets past the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Forward Joe Johnson scored 23 points and backup center Brook Lopez had 22 points and 14 rebounds, guiding the Nets to a 114-105 victory over the Lakers at Staples Center.
Point guard Deron Williams finished with 12 points and 15 assists as the Nets (22-31) snapped a three-game slide. Forwards Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson scored 18 and 14 points, respectively.
“We were just getting out and running,” said Williams of the Nets’ play in the third quarter, when they outscored the Lakers 40-20. “We hit shots, got layups. I just think we had everything going at one time.”
Guard Jeremy Lin led six Lakers in double figures with 18 points and forward Ed Davis had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Center Robert Sacre had 13 points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles (13-41), which dropped its seventh straight game and the 16th in the past 17 contests.
“This is a game that we could have won, we should have won,” said Davis, who hit eight of his 10 shots. “We had a lapse in the third quarter. We have to keep fighting, stick together, stick through these tough times and these tough stretches.”
The Lakers held a 57-56 lead at the break before the Nets took control in the third quarter. Johnson had 13 points — 12 of those coming on four 3-pointers — and Lopez scored eight in the quarter.
“We made shots. That was probably the main thing,” said Johnson, who made six of 11 attempts from the floor overall, including five of seven on 3-pointers. “Great ball movement. Guys were attacking and making plays and knocking down shots.”
After a bucket by Lakers center Jordan Hill — who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds — cut the Nets’ cushion to 79-73 with 4:22 left, Brooklyn responded with a 17-4 to close the period for a 96-77 advantage.
A 3-pointer by guard Nick Young and a basket by Davis cut the deficit to 107-100 with 2:29 remaining in the game, but a layup by Williams with 2:13 left pushed the lead back to nine. The Lakers got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
“I thought we played really well,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “We attacked and shared the basketball. We had 29 assists on our 42 field goals, and that is awesome. We made 10 3’s and just kept attacking and spreading the court and sharing the ball.”
The Nets shot a sizzling 71.4 percent in the third to only 38.1 percent for the Lakers. They also connected on six of seven from 3-point range while Los Angeles misfired on its three attempts.
For the game, Brooklyn hit 47.2 percent of its shots to 46.1 percent for Los Angeles. The Nets were 10 of 21 on 3-pointers compared to four of 23 for the Lakers.
“I thought the first half we played pretty well,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “In the third quarter, (assistant coach) Paul Pressey said ‘Let’s see if we can turn it up because we know they are.’ They came out, jumped on us and basically, in boxing terms, they punched us and we just started trying to do the rope-a-dope. We just got on our heels.”
Newly-acquired forward Thaddeus Young made his debut in a Brooklyn uniform. Young, who was obtained by the Nets from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal for forward Kevin Garnett, scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in 12 minutes.
NOTES: The Lakers held a moment of silence for former NBA player Jerome Kersey, who died Wednesday from a blood clot in his lungs. Kersey, who was 52, played one season with the Lakers. … Brooklyn played without G Jarrett Jack, who sat out with a sore left hamstring. … Lakers coach Byron Scott dismissed a story by the Hollywood Reporter that said G Kobe Bryant had confirmed that next season would definitely be his last in the NBA. “Until I hear it from the horse’s mouth, which is Kobe Bryant, I’m not going to believe it,” said Scott, who has previously commented that he wouldn’t be surprised if Bryant played beyond next season. … Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins praised former Nets F Kevin Garnett, who the club dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday for F Thaddeus Young. “I texted him and told him personally before he left that I was privileged and honored to have the opportunity to coach him,” Hollins said. … The Lakers host the Boston Celtics on Sunday, while the Nets visit the Denver Nuggets on Monday.
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