Polar vortex can’t cool the Nets off as they beat the Magic

The Brooklyn Nets improved to 8-1 in January. AP Photo.

The Brooklyn Nets improved to 8-1 in January. AP Photo.

There is a blizzard going on in Brooklyn, but it couldn’t cool off the Nets as they continued their recent hot streak with a 101-90 victory over the Orlando Magic at the Barclays Center on Tuesday. They have now won eight out of nine in the new year and have held all but one opponent to less than 100 points per game during that stretch.

“We’re becoming a very dangerous team right now. We’re getting our confidence and we’re working hard on defense,” Andray Blatche said.

Blatche was the biggest weapon on offense as he finished with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and a block. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce each had 13, and Mirza Teletovic had 14. Deron Williams came off the bench and had nine points and nine assists in 28 minutes. They shot 49.4 percent overall, had 29 assists, nine steals and committed just eight turnovers.

The Nets spread the ball around well. They had 29 assists and everyone scored including Mason Plumlee who played just three minutes. They played well in the first, struggled a bit offensively, but their defense was consistent throughout which helped them hold on to a four point lead going into the half.

Remember when the Nets were terrible in the third quarter? Not right now. They dominated the Magic in the third. It wasn’t any one player; they spread the ball around, got everyone involved and played great defense. As a group, they shot 52.4 percent and they held Orlando to just 14.3 percent. The Nets led by as much as 19 points and went into the fourth up by 17.

It was the first time all season the Nets won back-to-backs, something they were very excited about after the game.

“It was a long time ago that we had to play the Magic,” Jason Kidd said. “And us, we haven’t had success on back to backs so it didn’t matter who the oponent was, we were looking for a win.”

The Nets are still not at .500 yet, but they are just two games out of the division lead at this point which is a good sign. At this point it seems like it might be a little more than just a small hot streak. The fact that they are mostly healthy, aside from Brook Lopez, is not a coincidence. This is not the pathetic team that it looked like it could have been even three weeks ago.

“The biggest difference is that we never got down on one another,” Pierce said of the turnaround. “We never pointed the fingers, we stayed professional. We believed and it just shows how things can turn around.”

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