Williams and Kirilenko, who both entered Wednesday night’s game 0-2 against their former team at EnergySolutions Arena, finally got their first win there, as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Utah Jazz, 105-99.
What it means: The Nets (25-27, 9-16 away), who acquired Marcus Thornton earlier in the day, didn’t play all that well in stretches -- particularly on defense -- but ended up with a W in their first game following the All-Star break. They are 15-6 since Jan. 1, and picked up their first victory in Utah since Nov. 29, 2008. Wednesday night marked the beginning of a stretch of six straight road games over 12 days.
Joe Johnson, looking
much healthier after being bothered by right knee tendinitis before the break, scored 27 points and added a season-high six assists and three steals. It was Johnson’s first 20-point game since Jan. 20. In 11 games since then, he’d been averaging just 10.2 points on 38.5 percent shooting.
Williams, who was wearing a wrap on his right hand, struggled to shoot (19 points on 6-for-15 shooting), but did impact the game in other ways (seven assists, four rebounds, one turnover). He got elbowed in the right side of his head by Alec Burks with 3:27 remaining, but stayed in the game.
With the Nets clinging to an 89-88 lead in the fourth quarter, Williams had five key points during a 10-1 run that allowed them to pull away.
The Nets had just seven turnovers, and overcame being outrebounded, 46-33. (Jordan Hill anyone?)
Comeback kids: The Nets closed the third quarter on a 20-6 run to turn a 13-point deficit into a 75-74 lead entering the fourth.
Of note: Paul Pierce limped to the locker room early in the third quarter, favoring what appeared to be his left foot. But he would return later in the period. ... Former Net Derrick Favors did not play (right hip). ... Reporters in Utah tweeted that D-Will’s former coach, Jerry Sloan, was in attendance.
Up next: Thursday’s trade deadline. The Nets don’t play again until Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors.