Nets hold on, finish home-and-home sweep of Magic

Associated Press Modified: November 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm •  Published: November 11, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets knew it wouldn't stay this easy, even if five quarters of evidence said otherwise.

The game did get close, and unlike last Monday's meltdown, this time the Nets handled it.

Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Kris Humphries added 14 points and 21 rebounds, and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 82-74 on Sunday to complete a home-and-home sweep.

Deron Williams finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and a couple key plays down the stretch after what once appeared to be another blowout got tight. The Nets beat the Magic 107-68 at Orlando on Friday and jumped out to an early 20-point lead in this one.

But after losing a 22-point lead at home against Minnesota on Monday, Brooklyn almost coughed up another huge cushion, letting Orlando get within five in the final 2 minutes.

"We definitely take the win. We're happy about that. We're not happy about how we finished the game and how we almost gave up a 20-point lead again," Williams said. "I don't know if we got lackadaisical or what because we were up 20, but this is something that can't happen time after time."

Glen Davis had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped four in a row after opening with two wins in their first season since trading Dwight Howard.

"The shots that we had tonight were good shots when you look on it. It's just the matter at the beginning of the game having that focus for 48 minutes, not just three quarters or one quarter or one half," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "Soon as that ball is thrown up at the beginning of the game, that focus needs to be there."

Aaron Afflalo also scored 19 for the Magic, who won their last five games against the Nets in New Jersey but so far don't match up against the rebranded team in Brooklyn.

Playing without Jameer Nelson (right hamstring), Al Harrington (right knee) and Hedo Turkoglu (broken left hand), they simply don't have enough offense, coming into the game ranked 26th in the NBA with 90.6 points per game. They couldn't even get 20 points in the first seven quarters against the Nets, then managed 21 in the final period of this one.

"We fought hard and continue to learn. It's only game six. We'll hopefully figure out what it takes from the beginning of the game until the end of the game," Afflalo said.

Joe Johnson scored 13 for the Nets, who are still without starting forward Gerald Wallace, who hasn't played since spraining his left ankle in the season opener.

That didn't matter Friday, and sure didn't look like it would early Sunday.

"I think you can have a tendency to see the score at times and you're up, 17, 18 points and you may have a tendency to relax on a play or two, which could cause a team to get some momentum," Johnson said after a 3-for-13 performance that dropped his field goal percentage to 36.2 percent.