The game did get close, and unlike last Monday's meltdown, this time the Nets handled it.
Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Kris Humphries added 14 points and 21 rebounds, and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 82-74 on Sunday to complete a home-and-home sweep.
Deron Williams finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and a couple key plays down the stretch after what once appeared to be another blowout got tight. The Nets beat the Magic 107-68 at Orlando on Friday and jumped out to an early 20-point lead in this one.
But after losing a 22-point lead at home against Minnesota on Monday, Brooklyn almost coughed up another huge cushion, letting Orlando get within five in the final 2 minutes.
"We definitely take the win. We're happy about that. We're not happy about how we finished the game and how we almost gave up a 20-point lead again," Williams said. "I don't know if we got lackadaisical or what because we were up 20, but this is something that can't happen time after time."
Glen Davis had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped four in a row after opening with two wins in their first season since trading Dwight Howard.
"The shots that we had tonight were good shots when you look on it. It's just the matter at the beginning of the game having that focus for 48 minutes, not just three quarters or one quarter or one half," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "Soon as that ball is thrown up at the beginning of the game, that focus needs to be there."
Aaron Afflalo also scored 19 for the Magic, who won their last five games against the Nets in New Jersey but so far don't match up against the rebranded team in Brooklyn.
Playing without Jameer Nelson (right hamstring), Al Harrington (right knee) and Hedo Turkoglu (broken left hand), they simply don't have enough offence, coming into the game ranked 26th in the NBA with 90.6 points per game. They couldn't even get 20 points in the first seven quarters against the Nets, then managed 21 in the final period of this one.
"We fought hard and continue to learn. It's only game six. We'll hopefully figure out what it takes from the beginning of the game until the end of the game," Afflalo said.
Joe Johnson scored 13 for the Nets, who are still without starting forward Gerald Wallace, who hasn't played since spraining his left ankle in the season opener.
That didn't matter Friday, and sure didn't look like it would early Sunday.
"I think you can have a tendency to see the score at times and you're up, 17, 18 points and you may have a tendency to relax on a play or two, which could cause a team to get some momentum," Johnson said after a 3-for-13 performance that dropped his field goal percentage to 36.2 per cent.
"Obviously they gained a little bit, but we were able to withstand it in the fourth quarter and make a few shots and put them away."
A 14-2 run gave the Nets a 19-8 lead, and when Orlando got within seven late in the first quarter, Brooklyn scored the final 11 points, highlighted by C.J. Watson's six points in 4 seconds.
He made a 3-pointer, then stole the inbounds pass and drew a foul while making a layup. Reggie Evans' free throws made it 35-17 headed to the second and the rout seemed on, even if the Nets weren't buying it.
"Like we've been talking about, it's tough to beat a team when you play them two games in a row," Humphries said. "You have a big win, they're motivated to come in here and play. So we knew they were going to make a run, but we were able to handle it and finish the game out."
It was hardly a run. Orlando crawled back into it, with some help from the Nets.
Andray Blatche's basket to open the second made it a 20-point game, but Afflalo had a pair of three-point plays in a 12-2 surge that cut the lead in half. Brooklyn recovered and went into the half leading 50-35.
The Magic then outscored the Nets 18-13 in a tough-to-watch third quarter in which the teams combined to shoot 12 for 34, and cut it all the way to 75-70 on Davis' basket with 2:07 remaining in the game.
Williams answered with a jumper, and after another basket by Davis, he found Lopez inside for a 79-72 advantage with 59 seconds to play. He added a free throw to push it to eight and the Nets were safe from there.
Orlando finished 1 of 12 from 3-point range.
NOTES: Williams turned his ankle in the fourth quarter, and Nets coach Avery Johnson said he isn't getting enough room to land on his jump shots. ... Vaughn spent two years with the Nets from 2004-06. ... Jerry Stackhouse, 38, finished with five points after scoring 11 on Friday in his Nets debut after sitting out the first three games. ... Reserve MarShon Brooks (sprained left ankle) also was sidelined for the Nets. Avery Johnson said he wanted to see both Wallace and Brooks go through a practice before they could return. ... The Magic play their third consecutive game against a New York team when they host the Knicks on Tuesday.Suggest a correction