Just last weekend, clutch baskets by D'Angelo Russell, and a timely block by Caris LeVert on Kemba Walker, helped the Brooklyn Nets escape with a dramatic win over the Charlotte Hornets.
It also left the Hornets infuriated with the officiating on the final sequence.
Two of the three meetings between the teams have been filled with drama and the season series will conclude Friday night when the Hornets visit the Nets.
The Nets are expected to a get a boost since Spencer Dinwiddie is set to return Friday. Dinwiddie has been out since Jan. 23 due to torn ligaments in his right thumb and practiced with Brooklyn's G-League team Thursday after coach Kenny Atkinson said he was close to returning.
"Great, good, yeah," Atkinson said on NBA.com about Dinwiddie's performance on Thursday morning. "The first thing that stands out about Spencer is his body, like he's an Adonis. It's unbelievable how fast he is, how just the talent screams at you. He's 6-6 1/2, and it's just great to have him back."
When the teams last got together Saturday in Charlotte, Russell scored the last 12 points for Brooklyn and tied a career high with 40 points in a 117-115 victory. Brooklyn escaped with the win when Walker was blocked by LeVert on a play that could have been called a foul, but in the league's two-minute report, it was ruled to be a correct non-call.
Brooklyn has won two of the three meetings, including a wild 134-132 double-overtime home win on Dec. 26 when Joe Harris hit the tiebreaking layup with 3.4 seconds left in the second overtime.
The Nets, sixth place in the Eastern Conference, enter 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit and are also in front of Charlotte, Miami, and Orlando in a tight race to remain or become playoff-eligible. A victory on Friday would give Brooklyn the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hornets.
Brooklyn is 5-8 in its last 13 games and 2-4 in its last six home games after going 13-1 at home from Dec. 7-Jan. 29. >> Read more
Copyright 2019 by the Associated Press