Lopez benched in Nets victory over Orlando

Lopez benched in Nets victory over Orlando

The Brooklyn Nets couldn’t shake the Magic all night, but were strong down the stretch with a small lineup. AP Photo.

Bojan Bogdanovic had his biggest game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets as he scored 22 points to lead them to a 104-96 victory over the Orlando Magic at the Barclays Center Sunday afternoon.

Boddanovic’s 22 points led the Nets. He also had six rebounds and two steals. His biggest shot of the night, a three with 5:42 left to play, led to a 15-7 run that helped cap off the win for the Nets. Deron Williams had 18 points and seven assists, Joe Johnson had 13 and Mason Plumlee had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Brook Lopez contributed with 12 points and five rebounds, but hardly played any defense in the third quarter and was benched for the entire fourth as a result.

HOW IT HAPPENED: It was an even game in the first half, even if the Nets did play down to the younger and more inexperienced Magic. Joe Johnson gave the Nets a boost in the first quarter when he got hot and scored 10 points. Channing Frye had an impressive run in the second quarter for the Magic as they grabbed a two point lead by halftime.

The Nets jumped out ahead in the third quarter when they shot 68.4 percent. However, the Nets didn’t put as much distance between themselves and the Magic as they would have liked thanks to six turnovers and 17 points from Nikola Vucevic.

TURNING POINT: The Nets watched an eight-point lead disappear when Frye hit a three with 6:23 left to put the Magic up by two. Plumlee dunked to tie it back up and then Bodanovic hit a three to regain the lead. From there it was all Nets as Alan Anderson hit a pair of free throws and then a layup, D-Will hit a couple of free throws too, so did Kevin Garnett and finally Johnson and Bogdanovic iced it with a couple of jumpers.

BROOK BENCHED: To combat Vucevic, the Nets benched Brook Lopez in the fourth quarter and went with a smaller lineup that, at one point, included Johnson at the four. It’s hard to say the move was a big success offensively, but they did manage to hold the Magic to 19 points in the fourth quarter and held on to win by eight points. Lopez didn’t look happy to be sitting out at all.

“Yeah, he wasn’t guarding,” coach Hollins said of Lopez on Vucevic in the third. “I want him to guard, simple as that. Get on him.”

UP NEXT: The Nets hit the road for a few days starting with a trip to Phoenix to face the Suns on Wednesday. Then they head to California for a game against the Warriors on Thursday and finally they will face the Trail Blazers on Saturday.


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