Nets Lose Grip, Fall To Hornets 102-94
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Chris Kaman scored 20 points, including a key 23-foot jumper with a second left on the shot clock and 45 seconds left in the game, giving the New Orleans Hornets a 102-94 win over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.
With the Hornets leading 95-94, Kaman made his jumper and then Marco Belinelli sealed the win with a fall-away 3-pointer with 16.8 seconds left, also with the shot clock down to a second.
Belinelli also scored 20 points for the Hornets.
Jarrett Jack, whose 3-pointer in the final minute gave the Hornets the lead for good, added 16 points.
The Nets held an 82-70 lead going into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold it.
Deron Williams had 20 points and 12 assists for the Nets. They also got 20 points from Anthony Morrow and 16 from Gerald Green.
Gerald Wallace, making his debut with the Nets after being acquired in a trade with Portland before Thursday’s deadline, scored 11 points.
The Nets extended their lead to 82-70 after three periods. Morrow scored 11 in the third and Wallace added seven, including a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving New Jersey its biggest lead of the game.
Lance Thomas had two consecutive slam dunks early in the fourth quarter that brought the Hornets within 82-76, but Williams hit two straight jumpers that brought the lead back to 86-78 with 6:30 left.
The Hornets got even in the fourth quarter, when Kaman hit two free throws, tying the game at 88-88 with 3:48 left. The teams continued to trade scores for the next minute, until Williams and Green connected on consecutive baskets to give the Nets a 94-90 lead.
The Nets took a lead in the late stages of the first quarter, with help from Morrow, who came off the bench and scored seven points in a span of 2:23. Morrow’s corner jumper gave the Nets the lead at 22-20 with 3:58 left and the Nets held a 29-26 lead after one quarter.
The Nets then maintained a 51-47 halftime lead, getting 12 second-quarter points from Green, whose second 10-day contract with the Nets expires Sunday.
Notes: Wallace said that the trade to New Jersey “kind of caught me by surprise. I didn’t see it coming. I asked my agent if anything was happening and it came as kind of a shock to me.” … Backup point guard Jordan Farmar missed his second straight game with a strained right groin, but Nets coach Avery Johnson expects Farmar to play Monday night against Cleveland. … Lance Thomas, who hails from nearby Scotch Plains-Fanwood, N.J., returned home as an NBA player for the first time. Thomas scored 10 points off the bench for the Hornets.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)