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04/13/2014 10:27 PM EDT
Nets upend Magic 97-88
BROOKLYN 97, ORLANDO 88

NEW YORK (AP) -- Going into their second straight appearance in
the postseason, Nets coach Jason Kidd was looking to see how his
players would respond in certain situations.

Kidd used a bigger starting lineup after having gone smaller for
most of the season since center Brook Lopez was hurt in
December.

Then with a 12-point fourth-quarter lead down to six with 5:27
left, the rookie coach inserted most of his starters back into
the game on Sunday night.

It worked.

Mirza Teletovic scored a team-high 20 points, Joe Johnson and
Mason Plumlee each added 17 and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic
97-88.

The Nets have two games remaining in the regular season before
the playoffs start next weekend.

"We got to continue to get better each time we take the floor,"
Kidd said. "That's one reason why I brought those guys back late
in the fourth, was to give them ... different situations of time
and score and being able to execute and get stops."

Deron Williams had 16 points, five assists and four steals for
the Nets, who have a two-game lead for the fifth spot in the
Eastern Conference playoff race over the idle Washington
Wizards.

Brooklyn's two games are against the crosstown rival New York
Knicks on Tuesday night and at Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Johnson said he's been doing some scoreboard watching with the
third and fourth seeds still unsettled.

The Chicago Bulls, who eliminated the Nets in seven games in the
first round last season, are tied for the third spot with the
Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors.

"I'm a basketball junkie so I definitely pay attention," the
Nets All-Star guard said.

"We've got to try to fine-tune and keep this chemistry that we
have going into the postseason."

Tobias Harris led the Magic with 18 points, who have lost their
past two games and 14 of 18.

Orlando, the third-worst team in the NBA, fell to 4-36 on the
road this season.

"Any time we lose, whether it is on the road or at home, it
bothers me," Harris said.

Trailing 59-55 after a Victor Oladipo dunk with 6:59 remaining
in the third quarter, Brooklyn went on a 15-0 run.

Plumlee, who along with Teletovic combined for nine points
during the spurt, started the comeback with a tip-in shot after
Williams missed a 3-pointer and capped it off with a pair of
free throws to extend the lead to 70-59 with 3:23 left in the
quarter.

Ronnie Price then hit a 3-pointer to end Orlando's drought.

Kidd pulled most of his regulars after the end of the third,
leading 79-70.

But he was then forced to bring most of them back after Orlando
scored six straight points on a pair of free throws by Harris
and a pair of dunks by Andrew Nicholson and E'Twaun Moore to
pull to 87-81 with 5:27 remaining.

Kidd called a timeout soon after and the Nets responded with a
10-3 run to extend the lead to 97-84 with 1:07 to go.

Orlando led throughout most of the first half, shooting 54
percent from the floor, good enough for a 49-46 lead at
halftime.

NOTES: Brooklyn C Brook Lopez, who broke his foot earlier this
season, greeted fans on Fan Appreciation Night. Lopez, who
fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot during a
game on Dec. 20 at Philadelphia, watched from the bench. Lopez
also had a procedure on March 3 to repair a torn tendon and
tighten the lateral ligaments in his left ankle. ... The Nets
have won 16 of their past 17 games at the Barclays Center and 23
of their past 26.

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05/25/2015
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