Kevin Durant unleashes fourth-quarter push to sting Hornets late, 98-94

The Brooklyn Nets (4-6) ran out of fuel in the fourth quarter. Despite obvious exhaustion in the second back-to-back home and away game, Kevin Durant checked in and the Nets stung the Charlotte Hornets (3-7) late. Final balance sheet: 98-94.

Again, as it was against Washington on Friday night, it was Kevin and the Kids who won the W.

“The thing we’re going to hang on to is back to back, on the road the odds are against you. We didn’t talk about any excuse and we didn’t find an excuse: we found a solution,” interim head coach Jacque Vaughn said summing it up.

The Hornets slammed the Nets with a 10-0 flurry in the opening minutes of the fourth to drain hopes of a win. Instead of collapsing, Jacque Vaughn handed Durant over and the game became “The Brooklyn Way” in quick order. After the 10-0 flurry, Durant helped open a 21-7 run to wrap up the contest. But it didn’t come without some late-game drama.

Brooklyn entered the final minute with a 94-92 lead after a huge triple from Durant. The Nets superstar followed it up with a midrange jumper to give Brooklyn (96-92) some breathing space with 33.6 seconds left. After former Net Mason Plumlee grabbed an airball and knocked it down, Cam Thomas ran well into the game clock before being fouled. The guard then hit both free throws and Brooklyn escaped Charlotte with a feel-good win — a win that cemented the Nets’ first straight sweep since the 2020-21 season.

The Nets stayed with the same starting five – Durant, Edmond Sumner, Joe Harris, Royce O’Neale and Nic Claxton. The starting unit was active defensively as it was Friday night in Washington, picking up a string of interceptions and doing solid work on the boards to provide second-chance scoring opportunities. In fact, Claxton, 23, and Thomas, 21, contributed (scored/assisted) for 25 of 30 first-quarter points for Brooklyn to open a nine-point advantage (30-21).

Brooklyn maintained its lead of more than 10 points until the last minutes of the second. Charlotte, who led by 13 points in the frame, found a rhythm and pushed. The Hornets – led by 16 points from Terry Rozier – came back and managed to cut the deficit to just three points, but the Nets finished the first half with a 52-44 lead. The Brooklyn bench scoring 20-8 prevented Charlotte from hitting the break with a lead.

A lead change was imminent for the Hornets and it didn’t take long in the third quarter for the buzz to hit. Charlotte took its first lead since the scoreboard lit at 5-4 in the first, trailing a 12-3 run at 7:38 of the third. To make matters worse, Claxton picked up his fourth foul after two insane fouls leaving Brooklyn to go small for the rest of the tough quarter. The Nets reached the last 12 minutes of play one point behind (70-69).

Charlotte opened the fourth on a 10-0 run spanning the first minute and a half of the final frame before Patty Mills’ direct triple. When the hope left the building, Brooklyn sent Durant back into the contest and some great looks were generated. The Nets went on a 12-0 run to take the lead in the final three minutes of play.

In the end, the Nets picked up a serious win to move to 4-6 in the young season.

Upcoming statistics

The NBA struggled with its digital flow of stats throughout the second half. When they finally cure things, we’ll add all the wonderful news. We know Kevin Durant finished with 27, Cam Thomas with 21.

And after

Dallas Mavericks vs. Brooklyn Nets

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Nets wrap up their road trip against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. The game is expected to switch at 9:45 p.m. ET.

For a different perspective on Hornet Nets, check out At The Hive – our sister site covering Hornets.

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