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Short-handed Nuggets limp into Brooklyn

9:58 AM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Brooklyn Nets are expected to be without star point guard Deron Williams for a second straight game when they host the Denver Nuggets Wednesday at Barclays Center.

Williams did not compete in Monday's 89-84 overtime triumph at Indiana because of a bout with ankle tendinitis and is averaging 16.7 points and 7.6 assists. C.J. Watson got the start at the point and scored one point in less than 19 minutes of action. Brook Lopez led the way with 25 points and Reggie Evans tallied eight to go along with 22 rebounds.

Joe Johnson netted 17 points and Gerald Wallace finished with 11 and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who ended a two-game slide and have split their previous six games. Brooklyn also rallied from four points down late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Johnson was especially grateful of Evans and Wallace afterward.

"I credit this win to guys like Reggie and Gerald, for the defense that they played on their two star players," Johnson said. "Without defense like that, there's no way we would be in the game at the end to win."

Pacers stars Paul George and David West combined for just 12 points, while Evans is averaging 13.8 rebounds per game over the last five contests.

Brooklyn, which owns a 16-8 record under coach P.J. Carlesimo, is 18-10 as the host this season and will close out the residency after the All-Star break next week versus Milwaukee.

Denver was without some key contributors its last time out in a 109-108 loss at Toronto Tuesday as forwards Wilson Chandler (groin) and Danilo Gallinari (sinus) and guard Andre Iguodala (neck) missed the game. Center JaVale McGee left the loss with a leg issue as well.

Ty Lawson led the way with 29 points and nine assists, and missed a runner in the lane as time expired.

"Everyone knew he was going to take the shot," said Denver coach George Karl on Lawson's final attempt. "Lawson was the first option, if he comes off clean he would have had a chance to take a better shot. He plays his (butt) off for me, he made enough shots, but enough things didn't go our way in the game."

The Nuggets have dropped two in a row since winning nine straight and haven't suffered three straight losses since the end of November. They will head to the All-Star break after Wednesday night and have a home date with Boston next week.

Denver is 1-2 on a four-game road trip and 11-17 away from the Rockies.

All four of Denver's injured players -- Chandler, Gallinari, Iguodala, McGee -- are listed as questionable Wednesday.

The Nuggets and Nets are meeting for the first time since Denver posted a 123-115 victory last Jan. 11 at the Pepsi Center. Denver has won five of six and eight of the past 10 encounters with the Nets.

The Sports Network

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