By Jason Schott - @JESchott19
The Nets won their 15th straight game at home on Friday night at Barclays Center, extending their team record, as they beat the Detroit Pistons, 116-104.
Shaun Livingston said of the Nets' impressive shooting and success at home, "We've been playing well at this arena. I think it's a comfort zone and we're just trying to build on the momentum that we have. I think the goal now is to challenge ourselves on the road. Depending on playoff seeding and where we have to start, we have to be a good road team."
Livingston had a big night, as he led the Nets with 23 points on an impressive 11-for-14 from the field, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. This was the fourth time Livingston has scored 20+ points this season, and he had just five 20+ point games in his career entering this season. His counterpart in the backcourt, point guard Deron Williams, had 8 points and 10 assists. Paul Piece had 17 points on 6-9 from the field and 3-6 from behind the arc.
Joe Johnson had 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-4 on 3-pt), 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. It was Johnson's 24th straight game with a three-pointer, a career best for Johnson and the most by a Nets player since Jason Kidd had a three in 24 straight games from December 28, 2007 through February 12, 2008. The Nets franchise-record is Kidd's, as he had a three in 28 straight games from December 27, 2005 to February 26, 2006.
The Nets' bench did a great job tonight, led by Mirza Teletovic, who had 20 points on 7-for-11 from the field and a great 6-for-10 on 3-pointers. Marcus Thornton chipped in 15 points, and Andray Blatche had 14.
Jason Collins might have had his best game of the season, as he had 6 points (3-3 FG) and 5 rebounds in 16 minutes. Kidd said of Collins, "Twin was great. I guess you said it - the bench was good tonight. Twin had a flashback to 2011, so he was good. Again, being able to rebound, keep guys off the boards and help defensively, but then offensively he got a couple put-backs that were big for us."
The Nets improve to 41-34 and remain 2 1/2 games behind the Toronto Raptors in the race for the Atlantic Division title. Toronto beat the Indiana Pacers 102-94. Kidd was asked before the game by BrooklynFans.com if the fans care more about the division title than the team, and he said, "We only care about Detroit, only take one game at a time. It's just Detroit, we can't worry about what Toronto does because we put ourselves in this position, so we can only fight and try to protect home and try to win on the road."
KG back on Saturday night in Philly?
Kevin Garnett, who missed his 19th straight game on Friday night due to back spasms, may make his return on Saturday night in Philadelphia against the 76ers.
Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd said of the possibility of a KG return on Saturday night, "We'll see. He felt better today. We'll see how his plane ride goes, and then we'll see in the morning how he feels. We would like to try to get him to go tomorrow, but it's up to him."
On whether Coach Kidd worries about integrating him back into the lineup, he said, "Nope. Kevin is a professional. He's been doing it for a million years, so there's nothing to worry about. He's about team, he's about what we as a team stand for - unselfishness, defense - so he won't have a problem with that."
Kidd said of whether KG will go right back into the starting lineup or come off the bench, "We haven't talked about that. I just want to make sure that if he's going to go, then we'll sit down and talk about if he starts or comes off the bench."