The Brooklyn Nets buried the Charlotte Hornets in 3-pointers on the way to a 130-115 win Friday night, their 19th home win in their last 22 games at Barclays Center as they improved to 38-18.
It was the three-ball that finally broke things open in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter after the Hornets hung on the Nets’ heels for three quarters.
Joe Harris scored Brooklyn’s first 10 points of the quarter in the first two minutes, starting with a 3-pointer and a foul for a four-point play, connecting on a top-of-the-key 3, and then drawing another foul beyond the arc and draining all three free throws.
That pushed the Brooklyn lead into double digits at 104-93, and the Nets extended that into a 19-5 run to open the quarter, taking a 19-point lead and leaving the Hornets behind.
Harris and Landry Shamet each made six 3-pointers as the Nets made 21-of-41 3-pointers — 51.2 percent — the fifth time this season they’ve made at least 20 3-pointers in a game.
“Each time that we’ve played against Charlotte this year we’ve gotten a number of catch-and-shoot threes,” said Harris. “I think they are actually one of the highest in the league in terms of the amount of catch-and-shoot 3s they give up. They are a good defensive team though where they close spaces quickly and get good contest. I think we did a good job just moving them around, making an extra pass here or there from a good shot to a great shot.”
Harris led Brooklyn with 26 points while making 6-of-9 3-pointers and shooting 8-of-12 overall. Shamet was 6-for-11 from 3-point range, 7-for-14 overall and finished with 20.
Kevin Durant posted a double-double with 25 points and 11 assists, shooting 8-for-13.
Kyrie Irving had 12 points and six assists, and Blake Griffin and Jeff Green scored 10 each. Green had five assists and Griffin had five rebounds.
The Nets shot 55.3 percent overall and had 35 assists on 47 field goals.
With Charlotte getting off to a hot-shooting start — making 12 of their first 16 shots — the Nets trailed 35-29 after the first quarter.
Brooklyn quickly evened things with a 6-0 run to start the quarter. Shamet hit a 3-pointer and dished to Bruce Brown underneath for a score, and Griffin’s free throw knotted the game at 35.
“I thought the second unit was outstanding just matching their intensity, and they did it in the second half, too,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “I thought that was also a place where we got a handle on them for a period when the second unit was in there. So they just played really hard, they played together, they were active in both their stints. I think you look at Blake, Landry, Nic (Claxton), Bruce, it’s plus-22, plus-25, plus-14, plus-24. So it was an outstanding effort from that group matching their energy and being physical and making it difficult for them.”
The Nets outscored the Hornets 25-12 to start the quarter as Harris, Irving, Green, and Durant followed Shamet in connecting from three, Durant, fouled beyond the arc, made three free throws to put Brooklyn up 54-47. Charlotte regrouped to make seven of its final nine shots in the half to even the game, even as the Nets shot 52.4 percent overall and 50.0 percent from 3-point range in the first half.
The Nets and Hornets traded baskets through four ties in the third quarter before Shamet hit two 3-pointers down the stretch and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot added another to put the Nets up 95-89 going into the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn quickly extended that lead to double figures as Harris scored 10 points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. He drew a foul on his first 3-pointer and turned it into a four-point play, quickly followed with another triple, and then after being fouled again beyond the arc made three free throws. Griffin followed with a lob finish from Brown and a 3-pointer of his own and the Nets led 109-93 with 8:47 remaining.
“This is a team that the way they kind of get in the gaps and try to keep people out of the paint, they do give up threes, they get in close-outs which give up threes as well,” said Nash. “It’s just their style, it’s who they are. I think they’re the 13th defensive team in the league, so they’re a good defensive team. But they do give up threes. They happen to give up threes, and we have three-point shooters. It is a make-or-miss league, and tonight we made them.”