What it means: The Nets (38-33) snapped a two-game losing streak overall. They stayed even with the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors (41-31), who picked up a home win over the Boston Celtics.
The Nets shot 54.9 percent from the field on Friday night and went 14-for-29 from 3-point range. Their bench scored 48 points. Six Brooklyn players finished in double figures.
Paul Pierce scored 17 points in the first quarter -- making all nine of his shots (four 3-pointers and five free throws) in seven minutes, but he appeared to re-tweak his right shoulder, which forced him to have to visit the locker room. Pierce returned in the second quarter. He finished with 22 points -- all in the first half. Pierce has hit at least 100 3-pointers in 14 consecutive seasons -- the third-longest streak in NBA history.
Jason Collins even dunked late for good measure.
No debate: There was no doubt about it. Deron Williams’ second dunk of the season was legit. It was a breakaway, two-handed flush in the third quarter. Williams finished with seven of his 13 points in the third quarter. He added five assists. Williams has recorded at least one steal in 21 straight games -- now tied for the longest streak in the league this season (Paul Millsap).
You’re out: Kevin Garnett missed his 15th straight game due to back spasms. Andrei Kirilenko missed his third straight game due to a sprained left ankle. Marcus Thornton returned after missing Wednesday’s game with a bruised lower back. Kyrie Irving (left biceps) was out for Cleveland.
Up next: The Nets host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.