NBA Tips & Preview – Hornets @ Nets

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for a key clash between Eastern Conference rivals Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets. 

10:30 (AEDT), Mon 28th Mar @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn

History: Played 122: Nets 66 V Nets 56

Last meeting: March 8, 2022: Nets 132 d Hornets 121 at Spectrum Center

Final Thoughts: Brooklyn Nets host Charlotte Hornets in a vital showdown, with just one win separating the pair and their hopes of avoiding the play-in tournament fading fast.

Both teams bring strong recent form into the last fortnight of the regular season.

The 39-35 Nets are eighth on the Eastern Conference ladder but have won seven of their last nine. Kevin Durant (who had 53 points against the Knicks) and Kyrie Irving (who piled 60 points on the Magic) have been in imperious touch. The Nets bounced back from a 132-102 loss to the Grizzlies (with Irving scoring 43 points) courtesy of a 110-95 defeat of the high-flying Heat yesterday.

In a major boost, New York’s recent mandate changes now allow Irving to play home games. Ben Simmons and LaMarcus Aldridge remain sidelined but are nearing a return.

The 38-36 Hornets have won six of their last seven. Following a disappointing, streak-ending 121-106 defeat to the Knicks, they overcame the Jazz 107-101 two days ago. Miles Bridges (26 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast) led the way, while Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball combined for 46 points.

Gordon Hayward has been out since February 7 but is hopeful of a return before the playoffs.

The teams’ season series is square at 1-all. The Hornets banked a 111-95 win in Brooklyn in the opening week of the campaign with Bridges (32 pts, 9 reb) starring. But a 50-point explosion from Kyrie Irving – including nine three-pointers – led the Nets to a 132-121 victory in Charlotte earlier this month.

The Nets are just 16-19 at home this season – including an NBA-worst 8-26-1 ATS – but have won three of their last four at Barclays Center. The Hornets are 18-18 on the road (20-15-1 ATS), winning their last three away games.

Brooklyn are just 2-7 on the second leg of a back-to-back, losing their last five. But Kyrie suiting up at Barclays for the first time this season should spur the Nets on in a crunch game with a whiff of the playoffs in the air.

Best Bet: Handicap – Nets -5.5 @ $1.95

Same Game Multi: Result – Nets; Total – Under 238.5; LaMelo Ball Points – Under 20.5 @ $4.92