Nets can't keep up with Hornets as Tony Parker scores 17 in fourth quarter to seal game
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Parker played 17 NBA seasons while wearing a Spurs jersey, but in his first season with the Hornets, he’s proving he still has something left in the tank at the age of 36.
Parker provided a blast from the past Friday night, scoring 15 of the Hornets’ final 18 points to blow a five-point game wide-open in a 100-87 win over the Nets at Spectrum Center.
The Hornets still were reeling from a series of errors they made to lose a double-overtime thriller to the Nets, 134-132, on Wednesday night at Barclays Center, and they came in determined to make amends in the second game of a home-and home set. Both teams are fighting for one of eight playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, and the Nets came into the game in ninth place, a half-game behind the Hornets and Heat.
After digging a 20-point hole in the first quarter, the Nets fought back to within five when Shabazz Napier came off the bench to spark a rally early in the fourth period. The Hornets were up 82-76 when Parker got it going to lead the Hornets’ 18-11 finishing kick.
“Any time you are down by that many points, you have to exert so much more energy,” the Nets’ Jared Dudley said. “Fatigue came into it in the fourth quarter . . . But credit to [Parker]. He had it going. The midrange shot we were giving up, he made us pay. He turned back time a little bit, a couple of those spin moves, a couple of those floaters. He hit timely shots, and for us, it was the inability to get over the hump.”
Said Parker, “I was still mad from the last game we lost. In the first half, we couldn’t get any rhythm because they were playing zone defense. In the second half and especially in the fourth quarter, we finally had some good plays against the zone.”
Kemba Walker led the way for the Hornets (17-17) with 29 points, including 7-for-12 shooting from three-point range, but it really was the Parker show. He had 17 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Jeremy Lamb added 19 points and Cody Zeller had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who took a 26-6 lead.
D’Angelo Russell scored 33 points and shot 13-for-24 for the Nets (17-20), his career-high fifth 30-point game of the season, but DeMarre Carroll (15) and Napier (11) were the only other Nets in double figures.
The Nets made only 39.8 percent of their shots and were 4-for-27 (14.8 percent) from three-point range.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris, who totaled 64 points two nights earlier, were held to a combined seven points and 3-for-13 shooting. Russell was the only Nets starter to score in double-digits.
“They did a good job of denying Spencer and D’Angelo, trying to make things rough on them,” Harris said. “They just did a good job of switching, communicating, making sure they were taking away looks from all of our shooters, really. They were aggressive, and it made it difficult to come off and get any clean looks.”
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson praised Napier, who made all five shots after not playing a second Wednesday night. “He brought us back in the game, made some really good plays, great drives,” he said. “He was a real sparkplug.’’
Next for the Nets is a 5 p.m. ET start Saturday in Milwaukee. Said Atkinson, “We’ve got to be ready for this early back-to-back and think about using more of our roster.”