- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN New York Writer
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Pierce suffered from right shoulder pain -- what looked like another stinger -- in the third quarter and did not return. He got knocked by Orlando Magic big man Kyle O'Quinn while driving to the basket. Pierce immediately looked in agony and went to the bench with trainer Tim Walsh. He did not go to the locker room, however, as he had in the past.
“I could’ve brought him back, but there was no need to bring him back,” Kidd said. “There was no reason to put him in harm’s way so we finished the game without him. Now he gets a little rest to get ready for Tuesday.”
• Joe Johnson talked about the balance of playing Sunday night’s game while trying to prepare for the playoffs. The Nets didn’t really turn it up a notch until their 15-0 run in the third quarter put the game away.
“We’re starting to get healthy again. We’ve got to try and fine-tune and keep this chemistry that we have going for the postseason,” Johnson said. “Really, it’s kind of hard because I know guys and some nights are tough since it’s kind of set for us in the fifth seed, but we have to take advantage of these games because you want to have some momentum going into the postseason.”
The Nets’ magic number to clinch the No. 5 seed is one.
• Brooklyn is 40-3 when leading after three quarters ... 15-0 when holding their opponent under 90 points ... 23-4 when outrebounding their opponent ... 19-2 when Andrei Kirilenko plays at home.
NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd said he could have brought forward Paul Pierce back into Sunday night’s game if it had more meaning. Pierce suffered from right shoulder pain -- what looked like another stinger -- in the third quarter and did not return.