Confident Nets keep cooking at home

By Jason Schott - @JESchott19

The Nets won their tenth straight home game on Wednesday night, winning a tight one against fellow playoff contender, the Charlotte Bobcats, 104-99.

Deron Williams had another big night, with 25 points on 8-for-15 from the field and 8 assists. He has scored 53 points in the last two games, the most he has scored in consecutive games this season. He is the second Nets' player to score 25 or more in consecutive games, the first being Joe Johnson in January. He registered his sixth straight game with at least one steal, the longest active streak in the NBA.

On how he feels, Williams said, "Confident. Confidence is getting back and that's a good thing for me. I tend to play well when my confidence is high; just got to keep it there. Keep attacking. Keep being aggressive. Guys are helping me. Paul (Pierce) has been telling me to be aggressive every game so I just got to continue to do that."

Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd said of Williams' health, "I can't answer to that but I know he feels great, and I think his play is speaking for that - on both ends, while being able to bounce back from the Washington game. I think he didn't shoot the ball extremely well, but again, he set the table for his teammates and Joe (Johnson) with the pick-and-roll. He is able to drive it and find Mase (Mason Plumlee) or whoever it may be under the basket. So he's making all the right basketball plays and he's not settling. Maybe that's because of his health and he feels good that he's able to get into the paint."

The Nets entered the fourth quarter with a 75-70, and got a break just over a minute into the final session. Marcus Thornton went up for a layup near the hoop and it was out of his hands for a split second before Chris Douglas-Roberts swatted it away. The fact that it was out of Thornton's hands warranted a goaltending call and a basket for Thornton.

The Bobcats promptly responded with a 7-0 run featuring two Cody Zeller baskets and a Douglas-Roberts three-pointer to tie it at 77.

The lead went back and forth until Williams hit a clutch three to give the Nets a 87-85 lead with 5:29 left. D-Will followed that up with a steal on Kemba Walker and he was fouled. He hit both free throws to make it 89-85 Brooklyn.

Later on, Paul Pierce hit a big three with 2:29 left to make it 97-92 Brooklyn. Pierce only had three points at that juncture in the game, but he always seems to be there late. Charlotte never got closer than three points the rest of the way.

The Nets had six players in double figures, starting with Williams' 25. Joe Johnson had 20 points (8-18 FG, 3-7 on 3-pt), 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Shaun Livingston had 17 points (5-9 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal to extend his streak to 11 straight games with a steal.

Mason Plumlee had 11 points (4-6 FG) and 7 rebounds, and is doing such a good job, it is easy to forget that Kevin Garnett missed his tenth straight game.  Off the bench, Andray Blatche had 13 points, and Marcus Thornton had 11. The fact that Pierce finished with just 7 points and they still won shows how deep this Nets team is.

Shaun Livingston said of the team's confidence, "I think it's better. We're staying calm, we're staying united, and we're staying together. The game of basketball is about runs. Teams make runs, and we just had to stay together during their run. They made a run tonight in the fourth quarter, obviously the game is getting late, everybody tend to get tight, and that's where trust comes in and just being in the fight."

On the success at Barclays Center, Livingston said, "We're playing well. We're really not trying to focus on any streaks. We just look ahead to the future. It's all about one game at a time. Now we have to focus on Boston. They stole a game from us that we thought we should have come out and won, so now we have to come back and take care of business. The crowd is getting into it, so we're trying to turn this into a hard place to play come playoffs."

jayschott19@gmail.com