(Reuters) – The Brooklyn Nets used a dominant fourth-quarter display to power away from the struggling Orlando Magic for a 97-77 victory on Monday.
Deron Williams had 20 points and nine assists, Brook Lopez added 16 and the Nets (27-18) gave P.J. Carlesimo a welcome victory after suffering consecutive defeats for the first time since he took over from the fired Avery Johnson last month. “We played two bad games. We know we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing,” Brooklyn reserve Keith Bogans told reporters. “So we wanted to come back and try to not make the mistakes we made in Memphis and Houston.”
Playing in front of their home crowd, Brooklyn took a 56-40 halftime lead and finished strongly to hand the Magic a sixth straight loss.
The Magic had pulled to within 70-63 at the end of the third quarter but the Nets scored the first nine points of the final session to seal the contest. Bogans, who finished with 12 points, opened the fourth with a trio of three-pointers to lead the late shooting spree.
“We made a good push but obviously it was not good enough,” Orlando’s Jameer Nelson said. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and nine rebounds while Moe Harkless tallied 16 points for Orlando (14-30). Sharpshooter J.J. Redick tied a career-high tally of 31 points for the Magic on Sunday but was stone cold a day later and made just two-of-13 shots for a five-point haul. Brooklyn’s win completed a four-game season sweep of Orlando, who are struggling in their first season since trading away All-Star center Dwight Howard.
The Nets, meanwhile, moved to within 1 1/2 games of the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks.