What it means: The Nets (21-25) didn’t play their best basketball but did enough to beat the Sixers (15-34).
Deron Williams rebounded from a 3-for-12 shooting night to score 21 points and dish out six assists. With the Nets on the verge of blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead, Williams hit a fadeaway to make it 97-93, then fed Mirza Teletovic with a bounce pass for a crucial and-1 on the next possession, giving Brooklyn plenty of breathing room.
The Nets, who had to hold on despite leading 104-95 with 2:24 left, are now 19-1 when leading after 36 minutes.
Paul Pierce had 25 points and went 14-for-14 from the free throw line. Teletovic hit five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points off the bench.
Shaun Livingston filled up the stat sheet, recording 13 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and a career-high 7 steals. Livingston was coming off consecutive games in which he totaled 40 points -- including a season-high 24 Saturday night in Indiana against the Pacers.
Kevin Garnett (five blocks) became the 18th player in NBA history and second active player to record 2,000 career blocked shots.
The Nets recorded 15 steals Monday night and have recorded at least 13 steals in each of their past three games.
Back and forth: In the first half, it went from 19-4 Nets to 44-37 Sixers to 54-49 Nets. Brooklyn gained enough separation early in the third quarter, going on a 9-0 run after Michael Carter-Williams' 3-pointer brought Philadelphia within 54-52. The Nets would ultimately outscore the Sixers 30-20 in the third. Brooklyn led by as many as 19.
Who’s in the house: Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, Jay Z, Beyonce, Michael J. Fox and Young Jeezy. Wilson, who sat courtside next to Mr. and Mrs. Carter, got a rousing ovation from the crowd when he was shown on the JumboTron. Wilson also received a nice hug from die-hard Seahawks fan Jason Terry.
Up next: The Nets don’t play again until Thursday night, when they face the San Antonio Spurs.