Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Brooklyn Nets [Print without images]

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 111, Blazers 93

By Mike Mazzeo

WHAT IT MEANS: The Brooklyn Nets guaranteed themselves their first winning season since 2005-06.

The Nets jumped out to a 37-17 lead after the first quarter and beat up on the Portland Trail Blazers, 111-93, to earn victory No. 42 on Wednesday night at the Rose Garden.

The Nets (42-29), who led by as many as 30, are 4-1 on their eight-game circus road trip and 26-4 against sub-.500 teams. Brooklyn also recorded its franchise record-tying 20th road win of the season (20-15).

Joe Johnson sat out his second straight game due to a right quadriceps contusion. Deron Williams shot just 3-for-11 from the field, and his streak of consecutive games with a 3 ended at 19. Didn’t matter. Not one bit.

Why? Because Reggie Evans had a night to remember. The Joker recorded the first 20-point, 20-rebound game of his career -- with a career-high-tying 22 points and career-high 26 rebounds to be exact. It was Evans’ NBA-best seventh 20-plus rebound game this season. Evans came in averaging 3.9 points per game.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 28 points. Brooklyn shot 48.4 percent from the field.

Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo tried to rest his starters for the entire fourth quarter, but couldn’t because Portland’s bench outplayed Brooklyn’s, cutting its deficit to 14 midway through the final period.

WHAT A FIRST: During the first quarter, the Nets shot 56 percent from the field and outrebounded the Blazers, 18-3. Brooklyn got nine points and 10 rebounds from Evans and 11 points from Lopez. The Nets had 12 assists and just one turnover in the period. Brooklyn led in second-chance points, 16-0.

UP NEXT: Nets at the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at 9 p.m.