The Least You Should Know:
[sny-box]Deron Williams scored a game-high 28 points (11-of-13 shooting, 3-of-5 from deep) with four assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Williams now has gone 15 straight games with at least one steal.
Joe Johnson added 19 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Shaun Livingston had 12 points, and in the process, reached his career-high in points scored in a season.
Mason Plumlee had a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) with an assist, and two steals in 27 minutes.
Brooklyn shot 68% from the field in the first half, en route to a 59% night overall.
The Nets have now won nine straight at home for the first time since 2006.[/sny-box]
He's baaa-aaaaaack. It's time to put Deron Williams back in that elite conversation. D-Will had his best game of the season by far, as he showed confidence from the outside, distributed well, and ran the offense with great efficiency. His ankles looked healthy on a number of crossovers, and he even got his first dunk of the year. Off an Andrei Kirilenko steal, Williams finished a three-on-one break by with a one handed flush, which had to have felt good after being rejected by the rim on Saturday night.
The Suns went on a 14-3 run in the third to cut Brooklyn's lead to single digits, but the Nets did an excellent job, as they answered with 14 unanswered points of their own. The run was highlighted by some fantastic chemistry between Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, who worked their way around double teams to find each other in open space. Remember when we were worried about these two gelling together? Yeah, me either.
The Nets needed that burst, too, because they gave Phoenix way too many second chance opportunities to start out the fourth, and a 23 point lead was cut to 12. But Deron Williams drained two big shots back-to-back: a desperation three off an Andray Blatche heave as the shot clock expired, followed by a midrange jumper. The five point surge stabilized things for Brooklyn and pushed them over the finish line.
Make it eight straight games at home that the Nets have held an opponent under 100 points. And even though the Nets are much better defensively with Kevin Garnett on the floor, it's very encouraging to see them keep that streak alive in his absence.