The Brooklyn Nets have had a lot to celebrate about recently.
The team defeated the Orlando Magic 101-90 on Tuesday night, improving their record to 18-22 including eight wins in the last nine games. Andray Blatche led the way with 18 points off the bench, shooting 6-of-11 from the field and grabbing down 5 rebounds and adding 3 assists. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce each contributed with 13 points while Kyle O’Quinn paced the Magic with 15 points.
Star Deron Williams once again came off the bench for the Nets, and the move seemed to pay dividends for Brooklyn, which moved to 6-0 with the starting five of Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Johnson, Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Williams delivered 9 points and 9 assists in the victory, his second game back after being sidelined for 5 games with an ankle injury.
The Nets are playing their best basketball of the season and have lost just once since the turn of 2014. In the month of January, Brooklyn is averaging a season-best 99.1 points per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, another season-high. The team is averaging 14.1 turnovers per game, their smallest amount of the season and – on the defensive side – converting more points off turnovers than they have all season, averaging 19.6.
After leading 46-43 at halftime, the Nets opened up the third quarter with a 16-6 run, which included multiple dunks from Livingston.
The highlight of the night, however, came with the game already out of hand with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Blatche received the ball from the elbow, drove through the lane and threw down a poster dunk over O’Quinn.
It was a fitting way to cap off the night, emphasizing the Nets’ dominance of the Magic throughout the contest.
“I think we got that swag now,” Williams said after the game. “That we can feel like we beat anybody when we step out there.”
Brooklyn now owns the seventh-seed in the Eastern Conference and sits in second place behind the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Nets return to the court on Frday night when they host the Dallas Mavericks at Barclays Center.