Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/11/13
NEW YORK – Bench players MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche combined to score 32 points on a night where the Nets lost two starters to injury, giving the Brooklyn a come-from-behind 99-79 victory over the beleaguered Phoenix Suns Friday night at the Barclays Center. The victory was the fifth straight for Brooklyn (21-15), which improved to 7-1 for interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo. The Nets improved to 14-0 this season in games where the opponent owns a sub-.500 record. It marked the first time that the Nets won three straight NBA games by 20 or more points and the first time since they were in the ABA in 1975. The loss was the fifth straight and 10th in the last 11 games for the Suns (12-26). It was the 12th straight road loss for Phoenix. Brooks scored a season-high 17 points and Blatche added 15 points, giving the Nets a lift after the team lost Gerald Wallace for the game with bruised ribs and Deron Williams for a stint with a thigh contusion. The Nets, who trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, blew the game wide open late in the third quarter and into the fourth, holding the Suns to just five field goals in 27 attempts during a 16-minute span of the second half. They held the Suns to just 26 points in the second half. Joe Johnson, who was a pregame question mark due to an undisclosed illness, scored a game-high 19 points and put the exclamation on a 19-2 Nets' run with two consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, giving the Nets an 84-66 lead with 7:30 left. Williams finished the game with 15 points and six assists for the winners. Brook Lopez added 13 points and eight rebounds, despite shooting just 5 of 16 from the floor. Jared Dudley had 18 points and Shannon Brown 15 for the Suns. The two teams traded the lead 10 times in the first half, before the Suns went on a 9-2 run midway through the second quarter to take a solid lead. With Brown coming off the bench to score 13 points, Phoenix led by as many as 11 and took a 53-46 lead into intermission. The Nets seemed lethargic after losing Wallace to a vicious collision with P.J. Tucker in the first quarter. Wallace was diagnosed with bruised ribs and did not return. The Suns shot 54 percent from the floor in the first half. The Nets' injury woes continued in the third quarter, when Williams took a Goran Dragic knee to his left thigh, went down for an extended period and came up limping. However, the All-Star point guard stayed in the game after a time out and the Nets went on a 12-2 run to climb back into the game at 55-54. The Nets regained the lead on a rebound basket from Lopez at 56-55. Williams, who had 12 points at the time of his injury, did not stay in the game for long. He limped to the sidelines in favor of C.J. Watson midway through the third quarter. Blatche scored nine points and Brooks added seven in the third quarter, helping the Nets hold a 74-66 lead after three periods. The Nets outscored the Suns, 28-13, in the third period. NOTES: Although they entered the game on a four-game losing streak and losers of nine of their last 10, Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo believed the Suns would be a formidable foe. "Sometimes you are lucky enough to catch someone exhausted and I would love to have it be the case tonight, but I wouldn't expect it from Phoenix. They'll always play hard." ... The Nets were without Jerry Stackhouse (hamstring), Mirza Teletovic (illness) and Kris Humphries, who was a late scratch with a sore ankle. ... The Suns were without Channing Frye, who has yet to play this season due to an enlarged heart. ... The Suns were playing their third game of a five-game road trip, while Brooklyn was beginning a streak of three straight home games. ... The rumored sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based group that would move the Kings to Seattle was something that pleased Carlesimo. "The fans there always supported the team," Carlesimo said. "It's a great sports town and a great basketball town. It will be a very positive situation." Carlesimo spent the 2007-2008 season as the head coach of the Seattle Supersonics and keeps his off-season home in Seattle, where his wife and two sons reside. ... Carlesimo said that the Nets used their two days off for rest and recuperation, with nothing much added to the offense. "We don't want to change too many things because we're going pretty well right now." The Nets entered the game with a four-game win streak and has won six out of seven since Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson as head coach last month.
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