Blatche powers Nets past Kings

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 18, 2012
Reserve forward Andray Blatche scored 22 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to their fifth straight win, 99-90 over the struggling Sacramento Kings on Sunday. The Nets (6-2) matched the team's best start since the 2002-03 season when they went to the NBA finals, losing to San Antonio in six games. Deron Williams had 14 points and 10 assists for the Nets, whose longest winning streak last season was three games. MarShon Brooks had nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, Brook Lopez had 13 points and four blocks, and CJ Watson had 13 points for Brooklyn. Joe Johnson missed 9 of 10 shots and finished with 10 points for the Nets. DeMarcus Cousins had 23 of his 29 points in the second half for the Kings, who have dropped five straight. Tyreke Evans had 21 points and seven rebounds and Marcus Thornton added 12 points. Brooklyn stretched its lead to 89-76 when Williams hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Brooks followed with a drive in traffic, making the shot with 3:21 left. The Kings got to within three early in the fourth when Thornton connected on back-to-back 3-pointers. Brooklyn never lost the lead and increased it to 84-74 with six unanswered points, the final two on a driving hoop by Brooks at the 4:42 mark. Struggling to find a cohesive lineup, Kings head coach Keith Smart started Aaron Brooks at point guard and John Salmons at small forward. The move paid off early with the Kings jumping out to a 16-8 lead, yet they trailed 21-20 after one quarter. Brooklyn cooled off in the third quarter after shooting nearly 54 percent in the opening half. But the Nets still maintained a 74-65 lead and closed the third with a 7-0 run which included a three-point play by Reggie Evans. After a poor first half where he shot 3 of 12, Cousins got going in the third quarter to keep the Kings close. The Kings center made 5 of 5 shots from close range and had 12 points, and Evans contributed seven. Blatche exceeded his previous season high of 15 points in the first half. The Nets reserve forward was 9 of 9 and had 18 points in the opening half, helping the Nets take a 54-42 lead at the break. Lopez scored 12 points and Watson also gave Brooklyn a huge lift off the bench with 11. Notes: Sacramento is last in NBA attendance and has drawn crowds of 12,000 or less in four of its six home games this season. The attendance was 11,965 for the rare Sunday matinee. ... Brooklyn's reserves outscored the starters 34-20 in the first half. ... Gerald Wallace started for the Nets after missing the last five games with a sprained left ankle. ... Johnson went scoreless until making a jumper at the 10:03 mark of the third quarter.
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