W2W4: Nets vs. Kings

January, 5, 2013
1/05/13
12:42
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets will look to improve to 5-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo when they host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night at Barclays Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:

TIRED? WHO’S TIRED? The Nets are coming off a double-overtime victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. In that game, Deron Williams and last-second hero Joe Johnson played 47 minutes each, while Brook Lopez logged 44. They may be fatigued, but they’re going to have to pick it up if they want to knock off the surging Kings (13-20), who have won six of their last eight games. Sacramento is just 3-13 away from home. The Nets (18-15) have not lost to a sub-.500 team all season (11-0). They beat the Kings, 99-90, back on Nov. 18. In that game, Andray Blatche made his first 10 shots en route to 22 points.

MATCHUP IN THE MIDDLE: Brook Lopez is currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. In his last five games, the 24-year-old center is averaging 24.8 points and 9 rebounds on 60 percent shooting. Are we going to see him chosen as an Eastern Conference All-Star? We should. His counterpart in Saturday night's game, DeMarcus Cousins, is coming off a 31-point, 20-rebound performance against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. This matchup is going to be fun to watch.

THREES THE KEY? In their upset victory over Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, the Nets shot 9-for-17 from 3-point range. They got off to a hot start in D.C. hitting 7 of their 11 3-point attempts in the second quarter. But they went just 1-for-11 from downtown after halftime. The Nets have been an erratic 3-point shooting team all season. It probably won’t change anytime soon, but it would be beneficial to them if it did.

MR. CLUTCH: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Johnson’s game-winning jumper against the Wizards on Friday night was his NBA-leading fourth game-tying or go-ahead filed goal in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime this season.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Deron Williams
PTS AST STL MIN
16.2 6.9 1.2 35.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.5
AssistsD. Williams 6.9
StealsD. Williams 1.2
BlocksB. Lopez 1.7