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Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 105, Rockets 96

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets, who started out the season 10-21, are officially going to the playoffs.

The Nets clinched a postseason berth on Tuesday night after beating the Houston Rockets 105-96 at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn did so by recording a franchise-record 14th straight win at home.

The Nets also snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Rockets.

What it means: The Nets (40-33), an Eastern Conference-best 30-12 since Jan. 1, moved within 1.5 games of idle Toronto (42-32) and Chicago (42-32) for the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds.

The Nets have won 21 of their past 23 at Barclays Center. Brooklyn finished the season 18-12 against the Western Conference.

Joe Johnson led the way for the Nets with 32 points on 13-for-21 shooting. It was Johnson’s fourth 30-point game of the season.

Deron Williams, going head-to-head with nemesis Jeremy Lin, finished with 12 points and six assists. Williams had his 23rd straight game with a steal, extending the longest active streak in the NBA.

Shaun Livingston chipped in 17 points and six rebounds. Andray Blatche had 13 off the bench, while Mirza Teletovic added 10. Mason Plumlee had 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

Brooklyn managed to shoot 53 percent from the field despite going just 6-for-25 from 3-point range. The Nets took the points in the paint battle, 50-42.

James Harden had 26 points in a losing cause for Houston.

The Nets were without Kevin Garnett (back), Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) and Marcus Thornton (back). The Rockers were without Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverly.

Up next: Nets at Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.