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Bench sparks Nets to rout of Kings

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets weren't too worn out from their double-overtime game the previous night to again extend a warm welcome to interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

The Nets dominated the surging Sacramento Kings for most of the game along the way to a 113-93 win Saturday night at the Barclays Center, helped largely by their bench, which contributed 50 points.

The starters still led the way on the scoreboard with Brook Lopez scoring 18 points and Deron Williams playing a solid all-around game with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds. But reserves Andray Blatche and MarShon Brooks chipped in with 15 points apiece and Mirza Teletovic added 14 during a key surge. Joe Johnson, who hit the game-winning shot for the Nets Friday night, scored 15 points as the Nets moved to 5-1 since Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson.

"I just thought we played very well," Carlesimo said. "We played our starters and non-starters. The bench did exactly what we needed them to do. They gave us minutes and production and they are the ones that broke the game open."

The Kings (13-21) entered the game with five wins in their previous seven games but fell behind by as many as 18 points in the first half and never really recovered.

DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Jason Thompson added 15 for the Kings, who finished their four-game road trip 2-2.

Sacramento hopes to get a boost in the coming week from guard Tyreke Evans, who is expected to return, possibly as soon as Monday.

"We didn't have the energy for this game tonight," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "Obviously when you see we shot 40 percent, we didn't have the legs. I thought we played good in pieces but not how we have been playing. Sometimes that happens."

The Nets didn't have much energy to spare, either, coming off a double-overtime win over the Wizards on Friday night in Washington, but Carlesimo said before the game his team would be ready to go.

Once again, the Nets (19-15) were indeed ready to play for Carlesimo, who has watched the team play well and Williams start to more closely resemble the All-Star the Nets had expected. Lopez again also dominated for Brooklyn, continuing his impressive work this season when healthy.

But it was the bench that keyed a big spurt for the Nets in the second quarter when they opened the game up. Carlesimo praised the defensive efforts of Brooks and Blatche while Teletovic sparked the offense during the pivotal spurt.

Brooklyn extended a five-point lead after the first quarter with a 15-4 run to start the second, taking a 51-35 lead on Brooks' jump shot with 6:25 left in the second period. Teletovic scored eight points during the stretch as the Nets took control of the game and never relinquished it.

"It is huge because, you know, with me and Mirza playing with confidence, I feel like it makes us a much better team, a much deeper team," Brooks said. "Mirza finally got it tonight by hitting some open shots, so I am just looking forward to building on that."

Sacramento cut an 18-point halftime lead to 85-72 with 1:34 left in the third quarter on a layup by Cousins. But Brooklyn scored the last three points of the third quarter and the first two of the fourth to boost the lead back to 20. They then cruised through the final period to cap a win that left them feeling good about themselves once more.

"We're getting our confidence as a group," Lopez said. "We're making the extra passes and we are trusting ourselves defensively."

NOTES: Nets forward Kris Humphries, who sprained his left ankle late in Wednesday night's game, was out for the second straight game. When he got injured against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Humphries was only playing in his second game back since sitting out five games with an abdominal strain. ... Carlesimo said he'd monitor several other injured players before the game, but Gerald Wallace (bruised left knee) started and Jerry Stackhouse (sore right hamstring) and C.J. Watson (bruised right knee) were active, with Watson entering the game in the second quarter. Stackhouse did not end up playing. ... Evans missed his 11th straight game due to a sore left knee. ... Kings guard Marcus Thornton, who had been starting for Evans, missed his fourth straight game due to a sprained left ankle.
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