THE FACTS: The Brooklyn Nets nearly left New Orleans with a three-game losing streak.
Instead the Nets held off the New Orleans Hornets 101-97 behind Deron Williams, who scored the last 11 Brooklyn points in the final 1:24. The run, which included six consecutive made free throws, helped the Nets maintain the lead in spite of New Orleans pulling to within 99-97 with 1.7 seconds to play.
Williams finished with 33 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez added 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
The Nets led by as many 22 points in the first half but New Orleans began to buckle down on defense following the break. After allowing Brooklyn to shoot better than 60 percent in the first half, the Nets (34-24) could only hit on 35.9 percent of their second-half shots.
And New Orleans began to heat up, cutting into Brooklyn's lead with dinks and dunks and a few 3-pointers.
But the Nets hit the shots that mattered, beginning with Lopez's driving layup with 2:18 to go and the Hornets having pulled to within 86-82.
New Orleans (20-38) couldn't back up its win against Sacramento on Sunday with a consecutive solid performance Tuesday.
Not that point guard Greivis Vasquez and center Robin Lopez didn't try. Vasquez put up 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had seven assists while Lopez, battling his brother, added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Brooklyn, which had lost to Houston and Memphis heading into New Orleans, won in spite of Joe Johnson sitting his third straight game with a left heel injury. The Nets are now off until Friday, when they host Dallas.
The Hornets, meanwhile, must regroup immediately. They travel to Oklahoma City for a Wednesday game. For the second time in three games, rookie forward Anthony Davis didn't return after sustaining an injury even though he could have returned. Two games ago it was a sprained right knee; Tuesday night it was a left shoulder injury.
QUOTABLE: "If we want our fans to come out and support us the way most other teams in the NBA do, we have to bring the energy and effort because we don't have high talent at every position."
-- Hornets coach Monty Williams
THE STAT: 12 of 20 -- Looking at the box score, all stats point to a Hornets win. They forced six more turnovers, scored more points in the paint and had more second-chance points. But the one stat that separated the two teams was the 12-for-20 mark the Nets recorded from beyond the arc. Brooklyn hit on four of five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
TURNING POINT: Brooklyn was reeling in the second half and the Hornets had cut a 22-point deficit to four on a Vasquez layup with 4:01 to play. But then the Nets' Lopez provided his team with a momentum-killing layup. After Eric Gordon missed an 11-foot jumper, Lopez was fouled and hit both free throws pushing Brooklyn's lead to 90-82. Though the Hornets closed to within two, that stretch stunted New Orleans' momentum and allowed Brooklyn to regroup and hold on.
QUOTABLE II: "It feels good to get it going, especially down the stretch and be able to close out a game. It's something I've kind of struggled with this year and I was really successful at it most of my career so it feels good to be able to finally have a game like that."
-- Brooklyn's Williams
HOT: The Nets' Keith Bogans may be playing a reserve role with Brooklyn, but his 4-for-4 performance Tuesday night helped key the win. He was 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter, answering New Orleans baskets each time.
NOT: New Orleans' Gordon couldn't get going against Brooklyn and scored only 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting. In the second half, he had only four points on 1-for-7 shooting.
NOTABLE: The Nets finished with 28 assists, one shy of their season high. ... The Hornets' eight turnovers tied for a season low by the team. ... New Orleans' bench outscored Brooklyn's 43-30, the 40th time in 58 games that has happened. ... Brooklyn improved to 1-2 with the starting lineup it used Tuesday (Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Lopez, C.J. Watson, Williams).
UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Wednesday @ Oklahoma City, Friday vs. Detroit, Monday vs. Orlando. For the Nets, Friday vs. Dallas, Saturday @ Chicago, Wednesday @ Charlotte.