Tuesday, February 26, 2013 11:01 pm
Williams, Lopez lead Nets past Hornets, 101-97
By BRETT MARTELAP Sports Writer
Williams did not score for much of the second half, but drained a timely 3-pointer with 1:24 left, then added a fadeaway jumper, followed by six free throws in the final 18.7 seconds to seal it.
Keith Bogans added 12 points for Brooklyn, hitting all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, when New Orleans nearly erased a deficit that had been as large as 22 points in the second quarter.
Williams, meanwhile, made four of his eight 3-point attempts, and the Nets shot 60 percent (12 of 20) from long range as a team.
Greivis Vasquez scored 20 and Robin Lopez 14 for New Orleans, which has lost four of five.
Nets starting guard Joe Johnson, who has a sore left heel, went through warm-ups but was ruled out at game-time, missing his third straight game.
Early on, it did not look like Brooklyn would need him against the Hornets.
The Nets hit seven of their first nine shots in racing to a 17-8 lead. By the end of the opening quarter, Williams had 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range, and Brooklyn led 31-20.
The lead grew to 51-29 on Williams' free throws with 4:36 left in the second quarter. Then Eric Gordon, who had 10 points, made a jumper and layup in succession, helping the Hornets close the quarter on a 12-6 run to cut their deficit to 57-41 at halftime.
New Orleans was still down by 18 early in the third quarter, but later used an 8-0 run ignited by Robin Lopez's putback and Anthony Davis' layup to get as close as 66-59 in the period, and trailed only 73-65 heading into the final quarter after Jason Smith's fast-break layup in the final second.
Smith's jumper had New Orleans as close as 84-80 with more than five minutes still to go, but Lopez and Williams began to take over again, scoring the rest of the Nets' points and building the lead back to nine before the Hornets cut it to three three times inside the final half-minute, with Ryan Anderson, who scored 13 points, hitting a 3 and a tough turnaround, and Vasquez adding a 3.
Each time, however, Williams responded with free throws to keep New Orleans at bay.
NOTES: Davis left the game late in the third quarter with an a left shoulder injury. Hornets officials said he was available to return to the game and he remained on the bench, but did not play again. ... Brooklyn's C.J. Watson, who started for Johnson, had 10 points. ... This was the first meeting between the teams this season, with the second coming March 12, the day after the Hornets' Davis turns 20. ... The Hornets had won their previous four at home against the Nets. ... Brooklyn improved to 14-12 on the road, while the Hornets fell to 10-18 at home.