Hornets, Nets Meeting Once Again in Brooklyn

by Sam Perley

The beginning of a three-game road trip and the second half of a back-to-back set both commence tonight for the Charlotte Hornets as they square off against the Brooklyn Nets for a third time this season starting at 7:30 PM EST.

The Hornets are coming off a resounding 114-107 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday evening in the finale of their season-long five-game homestand. Although the team had two separate leads of at least 15 points erased over the course of the night, Head Coach James Borrego was pleased with the resiliency and overall defensive performance.

“It’s just urgency. It takes a lot of effort,” he said following the win. “I think both teams were gassed down the stretch, but it takes multiple efforts to guard a team like this. This is one of the most high-powered offenses right now in the league. To hold them to 107 points speaks to our guys’ attention to detail and urgency on the defensive end. We were emphasizing the three-point line, making runs at them, making them put it down, at least contesting every three.”

Focusing on tonight’s opponent, Charlotte is 0-2 against the Nets this season, losing most recently at home, 111-104, this past Friday night. Brooklyn has held the Hornets to an average of just 97.5 PPG on 40.2% shooting in these two contests, while forcing 17.5 turnovers and converting 65.2% of their own field-goal attempts in the restricted area.

The Nets have won eight of their last 10 outings, after knocking off the Denver Nuggets, 105-102, at the Barclays Center on Sunday evening. Fill-in starting point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 23.4 PPG and 7.9 APG during this stretch, Joe Harris is putting up 16.8 PPG (47.9% from three) and Jarrett Allen is posting 16.1 PPG on 68.1% shooting, 12.8 RPG and 1.0 BPG.

Brooklyn enters this one averaging the fifth-most paint points per game (51.6 PPG) and allowing the 10th-fewest such opposing points (46.4 PPG). Much like the first two meetings between the two sides, tonight’s matchup between the Hornets and Nets will be one decided down in the post and on the rebounding front.

Game Notes: G Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement), G Caris LeVert (right thumb surgery) and F Wilson Chandler (league suspension) are still out for Brooklyn… The Hornets are 1-4 this season in the second game of back-to-backs (1-3 on the road).


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