Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge shoots a free throw against the...

Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge shoots a free throw against the Hornets during the first half of an NB game at Barclays Center on Thursday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Nets fielded an All-Star injury list that included two-thirds of their "Big 3" — Kevin Durant and James Harden — along with recent free-agent acquisition Blake Griffin, who simply was being rested. But it didn’t matter on a night when their latest free-agent signee, LaMarcus Aldridge, made his debut as their starting center alongside Kyrie Irving and the NBA’s deepest supporting cast.

Aldridge made a profound impact at both ends of the floor and the Nets hit 20 of 45 three-pointers (44.4%) and led by as many as 32 points on their way to a 111-89 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night at Barclays Center. It was the 20th win in the past 23 games for the Eastern Conference-leading Nets (34-15), who remained a half-game ahead of the 76ers.

When he first spoke to the media on Sunday, Aldridge said the experience of joining the Nets’ All-Star cast was surreal, but after one game, he felt at home. "For sure, I feel like it now," he said after contributing 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and one blocked shot. "I definitely had fun out there.

"These guys are great. They got me touches. It’s a bunch of good guys that just want to win and just want to play basketball. So I think that makes it easy for everyone. They just let me play my game. Those guys do their thing, and it’s just easy for me. It’s just one game, but it was definitely nice."

Jeff Green topped six Nets in double figures with 21 points, including 5-for-12 three-point shooting. Irving added 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Tyler Johnson had 15 points on 5-for-7 accuracy from three-point range.

The Hornets (24-23), who were led by Gordon Hayward and Devonte Graham with 13 points each, were held to 34.9% shooting (30-for-86).

Nets coach Steve Nash didn’t hesitate to replace DeAndre Jordan with Aldridge as the starting center in a lineup with Irving and Bruce Brown at guard and Green and Joe Harris at forward. It became evident late in the first quarter when Aldridge was replaced by second-year center Nic Claxton that Jordan had moved to the back of the bench.

"This is a guy that has a great pedigree," Nash said of Aldridge, a former seven-time All-Star. "Very intelligent, experienced and skilled 6-11 basketball player. We thought we had to get him going, so why not throw him in the starting lineup and see if he can get his rhythm. I was impressed with his effectiveness after such a [month-long] layoff."

Aldridge was a formidable presence on defense as the Nets built a 32-11 first-quarter lead, holding the Hornets to 17.4% shooting (4-for-23). That was the fewest points allowed by the Nets in any quarter this season.

In the second quarter, Aldridge really got going. In succession, he hit a corner three-pointer and a midrange turnaround jumper, drew a double-team and picked up an assist on Johnson’s wide-open three-pointer, hit another midrange shot to give the Nets a 47-18 lead and assisted on the next two Nets baskets, one of which was a three-pointer by Harris. So he was responsible for 15 straight Nets points — and then he blocked a shot.

Asked if that was the ideal of what he might do for the Nets, Aldridge said, "Yeah, I think that’s the ideal. It’s just try to find my spots to help these guys be better, try to open up the floor for Kyrie, James, KD. I thought tonight was perfect. We had a good balance of inside-outside. They doubled me tonight, so I was just trying to find the open guy."

The Nets held the Hornets to 17 third-quarter points and pushed their lead to 32, which only hints at how great this team might be when healthy.

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