The Least You Should Know:
[sny-box]Paul Pierce scored a team-high 25 points (5-for-8), including a perfect 14-for-14 from the line. He added three rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
Shaun Livingston had a career-high seven steals, the final of which came with 3.2 seconds to play to seal the deal. He also had 11 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
Deron Williams scored 21 points (8-for-19 from the field) and dished out six assists in 41 minutes.
Mirza Teletovic was 5-for-9 from downtown en route to a 20 point night off the bench.
The Nets allowed 46 points in the paint to a Sixers team that is among the top in that category in the league. Michael Carter-Williams led the way for Philly with 21.[/sny-box]
The Nets led by 15 at one point in the first, but were completely outplayed in the second quarter to allow the Sixers to get back in it. Brooklyn again started to pull away in the third, leading 84-69 at the start of the fourth, but the fourth quarter mimicked the second and Philly was able to hang around. A late 7-0 Nets gave them just enough breathing room to withstand the Sixers' final push.
Great effort by Livingston, who had been brilliant on both sides of the ball the last 10 games. I'll admit, I thought the Nets would be best served sending Shaun to the bench upon D-Will's return, but wow was I wrong. Amazing all around play tonight.
Speaking of Williams, he looked much, much better than he did in Indiana. Jason Kidd said he talked to D-Will about taking it easier on himself and to have fun, and it looked like that resonated with Deron. He seemed to play looser, quicker, and looked much more spry on his legs. Nice bounce back effort for the Nets' point guard.
Nice to see Marquis Teague getting some minutes at point guard tonight. The Chicago import played eight minutes and did a serviceable job despite a -16 rating. If Teague can evolve into a useful backup one, it would allow the Nets to rest easy when they play Williams and Shaun Livingston in the same lineup, which has been an extremely effective combination.
Big game for MT3, who stepped up in a huge way with both Andray Blatche and Andrei Kirilenko out. Not only did Mirza do his thing from downtown, he made one of the plays of the game when he converted a sweet feed inside from Williams while absorbing the foul and cashing in on the free throw.