|Date of game: 3/29/2015
Los Angeles Lakers (19-52) at Brooklyn Nets (31-40), 3:30 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets continue their crusade to make the postseason Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Barclays Center.
The Nets have won two in a row and trail the Boston Celtics by a half-game for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.
Brooklyn has not just won two straight, but it has captured four of five and six of eight. After a road win in Charlotte on Wednesday, the Nets handled LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 106-98, on Friday in Brooklyn.
Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez scored 20 points apiece and the reserves stepped up to lead the Nets.
Brooklyn's reserves outscored their counterparts 54-20, led by Bojan Bogdanovic's 18 points. Jarrett Jack added 16 points and Alan Anderson scored 13 to help the Nets snap an eight-game losing skid when LeBron James has suited up for the Cavaliers.
"At this point for us, every game is important," said Johnson.
Brooklyn opened the fourth quarter on an 11-5 run, with Jack and Bogdanovic each hitting a pair of field goals during the spurt. The lead was 92-89 when Lopez potted four straight free throws, Johnson drilled a deep 3-pointer late in the shot clock and Jack converted two from the stripe.
Johnson's free throws made it 103-93 at 2:05 and gave Brooklyn the first double-digit lead for either team.
Out of a timeout, the Cavaliers committed a shot-clock violation. Brooklyn shot 11-for-12 from the stripe over the final 5:12 to put the game away.
Thaddeus Young is doubtful Sunday with a hyperextended left knee.
The Lakers moved to 1-2 on their five-game road trip, which ends Monday in Philadelphia, thanks to a 94-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Jeremy Lin totaled 18 points and Jordan Clarkson had 14 for the Lakers, who have dropped six of their last eight games. They were the only double-figure scorers for LA, although all nine Lakers who played Friday managed at least six points.
A turnaround jumper from Terrence Ross put the Raptors on top for good near the midway point of the third quarter and Greivis Vasquez connected from long distance on the next possession to make it a four-point edge at 61-57. Williams later converted a trey and Toronto was up 71-64, a lead which eventually stood at five heading into the final period.
Wayne Ellington and Lin countered for Los Angeles to whittle the deficit down to six. Amir Johnson hit a bucket for Toronto ahead of one from Ed Davis, but it was as close as the Lakers came.
"When our offense started to go down, so did our defense," Lakers coach Byron Scott said. "Our guys got down on themselves."
The Nets have won two straight over the Lakers, halting an 11-game series slide. Both of Brooklyn's victories came in Los Angeles, so the Lakers have taken seven in a row as the visitor.