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Sunday, November 10, 2013
D-Will: I'm 'getting there'

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams set season highs for points (17), assists (10) and minutes played (33) in the team's 96-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night at Barclays Center.

"Getting there. Every game, I feel better," Williams said.

Williams, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, came into the game averaging just 9.6 points and 7.0 assists in 26.2 minutes. His Player Efficiency Rating of 12.33 ranked 40th among NBA point guards. On Saturday night, Williams shot 7-for-14 from the field.

Williams was asked how he balances trying to make himself happy with trying to make his teammates happy.

"Just play. Just play basketball. It'll happen," Williams said. "If I'm being aggressive, and I was a little more aggressive today, I'm gonna draw doubles, help and I'm going to be able to find people. If they don't help, then I look to score."

Center Brook Lopez liked what he saw from Williams, who did have a couple big miscues at the end of the game.

"Yeah, he came with energy," Lopez said. "He was aggressive and he really was a motor for us. That's the kind of Deron we definitely want throughout the remainder of the season."

• Power forward Kevin Garnett played 27 minutes Saturday night. Garnett ended up playing both games of the team's first back-to-back set this season.

The Nets now have three days off between games. "Days off are always good," Garnett joked.

Paul George, Indiana's 23-year-old star, dominated the Nets to the tune of 24 points and 6 rebounds in 36 minutes. He shot 8-for-14 from the field -- 3-for-5 from 3-point range.

"He can shoot, he can drive it, he's a great rebounder, great passer, facilitator," Williams said. "There's really no holes in his game."

• Small forward Paul Pierce said he feels a lot better than he did Friday night, when he had to battle through an illness. His numbers (15 points on 5-for-12 shooting) reflected as much.

• Lopez (16 points, 7 rebounds) fell to 4-10 in his career against Roy Hibbert (15 points, 11 rebounds).

"It's always good to go against him, he's a good challenge for me," Lopez said. "He's one of the best bigs in the league, so it's always good going against him."

• The Nets had their four-game winning streak over Indiana snapped. ... The Nets and Pacers combined for just nine fast-break points. ... Brooklyn's 91 points tied for the highest allowed by Indiana this season. The Pacers came in first in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing just 86.7 points per 100 possessions.