Nets Keep It Rolling, Dominate Kings
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Brook Lopez scored 18 points in 17 minutes to lead six players in double figures, and the Brooklyn Nets got a big effort from their reserves in beating the Sacramento Kings 113-93 on Saturday night for their third straight victory.
One night after needing two overtimes to escape with a 115-113 victory in Washington, the Nets made sure the starters weren’t too taxed. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scored 15 points, but neither had to play even 30 minutes.
Reserves MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche each scored 15 points and Mirza Teletovic had a career-best 14 as the Nets scored a season-high 65 points in the first half and improved to 5-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who had won four of five overall and two straight on the road but were defenseless in the finale of their four-game trip.
The Nets got a huge lift from their reserves in the first meeting this season, when Blatche came off the bench to make his first 10 shots. This time, the production was spread among three players.
The Nets made 10 of their first 13 shots and finished 15 of 21 (71 percent) in the first quarter, but led only 36-31 after John Salmons scored 13 points. The Nets then opened it up in the second while the starters watched.
Teletovic, an NBA rookie who spent most of his pro career in Spain, made a jumper and had seven more points in a 15-2 run that turned a three-point lead into a 51-35 lead midway through the period. Brooks made three straight Nets baskets at one point in the quarter, mostly tough looks where he was well-defended or the shot clock was running down.
It was 65-47 at the break after the Nets made 27 of 40 shots (67.5 percent). Brooks, who was getting inconsistent minutes under Avery Johnson, was one point off his season high.
The Kings were hoping for three consecutive road wins for the first time since March 23-27, 2011, but had little bright spot beyond another strong game from Cousins.
Cousins had a season-high 31 points and career high-tying 20 rebounds Friday in a victory at Toronto. He missed a game last month when he was suspended by the Kings for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team but had been on a tear lately, averaging 19.4 points, 14.0 boards and 5.4 assists in the last five games.
Coach Keith Smart, who said both sides have moved past their problems, said Cousins was doing a much better job trusting his teammates and was the obvious key to Sacramento’s recent success.
“I think maybe, maybe, he’s turned the corner in realizing that if you want to be a star in this league, all the stars allow the other teammates to play and they make them better,” Smart said before the game.
Cousins tried to keep the Kings in it, making all five shots in the third period and scoring 12 points, but all that could do was trim the 23-point lead the Nets had early in the quarter down to 16. Blatche had the first two baskets of the fourth to push the lead back to 20 and the Nets cruised from there.
NOTES: Injured guard Tyreke Evans has rejoined the Kings and is expected to start playing again on their five-game homestand. A second opinion on his sore left knee supported the Kings’ treatment and rehabilitation regimen. Evans has missed 13 of the last 17 games. … Brooklyn’s previous best was 64 points in the first half against Cleveland on Nov. 13. … Saturday was the one-year anniversary of Smart being named the Kings head coach.
Nets fans — are you pleased with your team’s improvement under Carlesimo? Let us know…
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