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Thursday, April 11, 2013
Nets inch closer to East's 4-seed

By Mike Mazzeo

Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose and Deron Williams all said it: The Brooklyn Nets have the potential to be a dangerous team.

On Wednesday night, that potential was on full display.

Williams was dominant, scoring 29 points and dishing out 12 assists, Brook Lopez chipped in 21 points, Joe Johnson had 20 and the big three carried the Nets to a 101-93 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

Deron Williams, Courtney Lee
Deron Williams scored a game-high 29 points as the Nets won the season series in Boston.
“It’s just a hell of a win,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “I’m very proud of the way we played tonight.”

If the Nets play the way they did Wednesday, they’re going to be tough to beat in the playoffs. But if they play as inconsistently as they have all season, who knows? It’s impossible to tell with this team. They really are an enigma.

They’re very good against inferior opponents (29-4) and on the road (22-17). But coming into Wednesday night’s game, they’d dropped eight of nine versus teams with winning records.

Then again, if Williams is going to be this dominant and Johnson is healthy and making shots, no one is going to want to face this team.

“I mean this was a big win for us and I think these next five games we’ll be able to tell where we’re at too,” Williams said. “We’ve been up and down a lot this season but these last two wins have been something to build on so hopefully we can not take any more steps back and just keep moving forward.”

The Nets’ (46-32) magic number to clinch the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round is just two. Next up? The Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

“I don’t know where Indiana stands or maybe people are going to start treating games differently going forward, but if it’s the kind of game I think it’s going to be it’ll be great preparation for us,” Carlesimo said.