Paul Pierce regains starting job

Updated: December 27, 2013, 11:37 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Paul Pierce was back in the Brooklyn Nets' starting lineup Friday night.

Pierce, who had come off the bench in seven of the Nets' last eight games, started alongside Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett in the team's 104-93 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. He had 13 points in 29 minutes.

Also, coach Jason Kidd announced that center Andray Blatche will miss the next four games due to "personal reasons." Blatche will not be with the team during that time.

The loss of Blatche is huge for the Nets, who recently lost All-Star center Brook Lopez for the remainer of the season due to a broken right foot. Blatche is averaging 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds.

Friday night marked the Nets' 13th different starting combination of the season. They used 13 different starting lineups all of last season.

"We're looking again for a group that will compete, and not just one guy or two guys, but the five that are on the floor," Kidd said before the game. "I'm giving this group a chance. Mirza Teletovic hasn't done anything wrong in the sense of competing. I'm just looking for the best five out there that can compete."

Following the team's loss Wednesday to the Chicago Bulls, Pierce admitted the broken bone in his right hand has not fully healed, but he's trying to play through it. The Nets (10-19) had lost four straight games before downing the Bucks.

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