It was late in the third quarter, and Brook Lopez grabbed an offensive rebound, went back up and scored for the Nets. On the ensuing possession, he hit a turnaround 10-footer, was fouled and converted the three-point play as the Nets refused to let Dallas pull away.

Anthony Morrow remembers thinking, " 'This is how it could have been all season.' He had like 26 at that point. I was so open."

Lopez, who had a couple cameos before the All-Star break, played with no limitations Tuesday in Dallas, where he unleashed a dominant 38-point masterpiece that finally gave as glimpse of, as Morrow said, what could have been all season. If he ever is to be a part of a deal for Dwight Howard, this was a performance the Magic could not ignore.