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Rapid Reaction: Nets 105, Sixers 101

Kevin Garnett looked good in his return to the lineup, and the Brooklyn Nets avoided a disastrous collapse, fending off the Philadelphia 76ers 105-101 on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Garnett, who had missed the past 19 games due to back spasms, scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and also recorded an assist, a steal and a block in 13 minutes.

Garnett also passed Alex English to move into 14th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

What it means: The Nets (42-34) nearly blew a 21-point lead but snapped a three-game road losing streak. They improved to 6-12 in the second half of back-to-back sets -- albeit against one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Brooklyn came into Saturday night’s game 2½ games out of home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Fourth-seeded Chicago beat Washington, while third-seeded Toronto and Milwaukee were still in action.

It’s looking more and more likely by the day that the Nets are going to finish with the No. 5 seed.

Mirza Teletovic hit a clutch 3-pointer with 48.6 seconds left to give the Nets a 99-95 lead after the Sixers used a 20-8 run to get within one.

Deron Williams (19 points, nine assists) tied the franchise record by getting a steal in 26 consecutive games. He threw down his third dunk of the season at the end of the first half (other sites have him at four, but Friday night’s "dunk" didn’t look like a dunk). Williams had a key four-point play late in the fourth quarter to keep Philadelphia at bay.

Mason Plumlee came off the bench to score 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting and grab seven rebounds. Six different Brooklyn players finished in double figures. Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Garnett did not play in the fourth quarter, as Nets coach Jason Kidd elected to give them rest. It nearly cost the team, but they were able to close.

The Nets opened the game by hitting their first eight shots and 10 of 11. They finished with 60 points in the paint.

Up next: The Nets travel to Miami to face the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday. The Nets are 3-0 against the Heat this season.