Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – The Brooklyn Nets did their part and got the help they needed elsewhere.
They are headed to the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Bojan Bogdanovic poured in a career-high 28 points and helped key a fourth- quarter rally that lifted the Nets to a crucial 101-88 win over the Orlando Magic.
Their win, combined with Indiana’s loss to Memphis, secured the Nets the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and a date with top-seeded Atlanta in the first round.
The Nets (38-44) prevailed behind a 19-6 run over the last nine minutes of play after trailing 82-81 early in the fourth quarter.
Joe Johnson and Thaddeus Young added 16 points each for Brooklyn, with Brook Lopez contributing 14 points to the triumph.
“We definitely got back to just playing with each other,” Young said.
Nikola Vucevic put up 26 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando (25-57), which closed out a disappointing season with four straight defeats. Victor Oladipo and Andrew Nicholson had 19 and 18 points, respectively, in the loss.
“I’m just really proud of their effort again,” Magic interim head coach James Borrego said. “We’re not that far away.”
A game Orlando team was up by one following Vucevic’s putback dunk with 9:17 to play, but Johnson sank a jumper on the other end before coming up with a steal that led to a Deron Williams layup. The two buckets kicked off a 10-0 spurt that put the Nets ahead to stay.
Johnson buried a 3-pointer shortly afterward and drained a long two on Brooklyn’s next possession to stake the Nets to a 91-82 lead with 4:56 left.
Nicholson’s trey had the Magic back within six, but Orlando made just one basket the rest of the way. Bogdanovic answered with his fourth 3-ball of the night that preceded a pair of layups from Young that had Brooklyn up 98-86 with 2:48 remaining.
Orlando, locked into the league’s fifth-worst record, looked like the team that had something to play for over much of the contest. The Magic opened up a 65-53 advantage early in the third quarter before Brooklyn responded with a 12-3 run, finished off by triples from Jarrett Jack and Bogdanovic, to climb within 68-65 just past the midway mark of the period.
The Magic regrouped and led by seven later on, though a 6-0 stretch near the end of the third had the Nets owning a 75-74 edge.
Orlando shot nearly 62 percent in the first quarter and owned an 18-10 lead halfway through the period after Oladipo scored inside following a 3-pointer from teammate Aaron Gordon. Oladipo’s run-out slam off a Brooklyn turnover a little over two minutes later extended the lead to 24-15.
The Nets trimmed the deficit to 28-23 by the start of the second quarter, then opened the frame on a 13-4 swing to briefly move ahead. However, back-to-back triples by Willie Green and Oladipo ignited an 8-0 sequence that gave Orlando a 44-38 advantage, and the Magic held a 52-48 lead at the break behind Vucevic’s 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Brooklyn swept the three-game season series and has now won nine of its last 11 meetings with the Magic, who fell to 0-6 all-time at Barclays Center … Bogdanovic finished 12-of-17 from the field and shattered his previous career best of 22 points … Orlando played without forward Tobias Harris (Achilles) and guard Evan Fournier (hip) … Vucevic had been held to a season-low three points in Monday’s loss at Miami … The Nets concluded the regular season 19-22 at home.