The Skinny: Deron Williams and Brook Lopez helped set the tone for the Nets early, combining to score the Nets first 15 points and helping them get out to an early double digit lead. C.J. Watson scored six points in four seconds toward the end of the quarter and helped the Nets to a 35-17 lead after one.
The Nets second unit did a good job of maintaining the lead and helped to hold the Magic to just 34 percent shooting in the first half. The Nets took a 50-35 lead into the break. In the third, the Magic outscored the Nets 18-13 and cut the Nets to lead 10 points entering the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Nets opened the quarter making just four of its first seventeen shots and the Nets turned the ball over four times down the stretch. The Magic made a late rally to cut the deficit to just five points. But with two minutes remaining and the score 75-70,Williams and Lopez scored five points for the Nets and Joe Johnson's two free-throws with seven seconds remaining helped to seal the victory.
High Scorers: Brook Lopez scored 20 points on 9-18 shooting from the field, though he did turn the ball over seven times. Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis each scored 19 points for the Magic and combined to shoot 16-37 from the field.
Key Stats: It took the Magic 18 game minutes to score a basket from outside of the paint, where they ended up shooting just 7-38. From the three-point line, the Magic shot just 1-12. With its undersized front line, it will be tough for the Magic to win games in which they shoot so poorly from the outside.
Who Was Hot: Kris Humphries easily turned in his best performance of the season, scoring 14 points on 6-11 shooting and grabbing a season-high 21 rebounds. For the Magic, Arron Afflalo had a nice all-around game, chipping in the aforementioned 19 points, but also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists.
Who Was Not: Starting his fourth straight game for the injured Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans played a forgettable 19 minutes in which he failed to score, going 0-5 from the field, including 0-4 from the three-point line. Joe Johnson continues to struggle, as well. Johnson ended the game shooting just 3-13 from the field en route to scoring 13 points.
Fun Fact: After snapping its 10-game losing streak against the Magic on Friday night, the Nets defeated the Magic in a home game for the first time since 4/11/09, snapping a five-game home losing streak to the club. After scoring 11 points in 10 minutes during his season debut on Friday night, Jerry Stackhouse gave Avery Johnson 10 minutes on Sunday afternoon. He scored just three points, but didn't look lost or over matched while he was on the floor.
The NBA is all about beating teams that you're supposed to beat and the Nets did exactly that. After losing two of its first three games, the Nets needed to beat the Magic in these two games and they did exactly that.
Overall, they moved the ball well and frustrated the Magic with some pretty stingy defense. The major concern for Avery Johnson's club coming out of this game should be the apparent lack of a killer instinct. The Nets led by as many as 20 points but let the Magic hang around and cut the deficit to just five points with about two minutes remaining. Unlike last Monday's game against the Timberwolves, though, the Nets made timely shots down the stretch and ended up hanging up.
The Nets will return to action on Tuesday night when they play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30pm.