NEW YORK (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 25 points, Jeremy Lamb added 22 and the Charlotte Hornets snapped a three-game skid Friday night with a 123-112 victory over the Brooklyn Nets to boost their playoff hopes.
The Hornets inched back ahead of Orlando for eighth place in the Eastern Conference and evened the season series with the sixth-place Nets to avoid giving Brooklyn that head-to-head tiebreaker if the teams finished with the same record.
Nicolas Batum had 17 points and Frank Kaminsky III re-emerged after sitting out the last four games to score 15. The Hornets put seven players in double figures and shot 53 percent from the field.
D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points for the Nets, who were easily beaten for the second time in three nights at home, where they have now lost four of five. DeMarre Carroll had 20 points.
The Nets had won in Charlotte last Saturday behind a career high-tying 40 points from Russell, and the Hornets followed that by falling to Western Conference powers Golden State and Houston.
But they took charge of this game with a 17-2 run in the second quarter that turned a one-point game into a 62-46 cushion that really was never threatened much.
And when the Nets finally did get it into single digits in the fourth quarter, Batum scored eight straight Charlotte points as the Hornets regained control.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 15 points off the bench after missing 14 games with torn ligaments in his right thumb. The Nets shot 51 percent but were woeful defensively, just as when they trailed by as many as 28 in a 125-116 loss to Washington on Wednesday.
Brooklyn led 32-31 after one, but Charlotte then made 16 of 26 shots (61.5 percent) while outscoring the Nets 37-18 in the second.
Walker had a couple layups in a 9-0 run that extended a one-point lead to 54-44, and after a Nets basket the Hornets quickly answered with an 8-0 spurt, extending it to 62-46 on Lamb’s layup.
The lead grew to 21 in the third quarter and even when the Nets finally got untracked late in the period and early in the fourth, they never stopped the Hornets enough to make any serious dent in the deficit.
Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Malik Monk both sat the entire game. … Tony Parker and Cody Zeller each scored 12 points.
Nets: Caris LeVert scored 14 points. … Russell, who averaged 26 points and eight assists in February, had nine assists.
Hornets: Host Portland on Sunday.
Nets: Visit Miami on Saturday.
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