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Nets 104, 76ers 83

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The Nets will need point guard Deron Williams to be on top of his game every night once the NBA playoffs begin. However, it was fine that Williams took a bit of a breather Tuesday night, letting forward Reggie Evans and center Brook Lopez carry Brooklyn to a 104-83 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Barclays Center.

The chants of "Reg-gie, Reg-gie" started early in the game, and Evans did plenty to deserve the recognition. Evans posted his ninth 20-plus rebound game, ending with 17 points and 24 rebounds, while Lopez registered 29 points and 11 rebounds. Evans leads all NBA players in 20-plus rebound games.

Williams, who paced the Nets (45-32) with 30 and 32 points the previous two games, didn't score his first points until early in the third quarter. He wound up with 11 points and four assists.

Nick Young scored 18 points off the bench to lead Philadelphia (31-46).

Before the first quarter was over, Evans had achieved his eighth double-double of the season, helping jump-start the Nets. Evans cleared his 20th rebound with 6:13 left in the third quarter and the Nets holding a 71-50 lead. Overall, Brooklyn forged an Evans-led 67-34 rebounding advantage.

The Nets took three out of four games from the 76ers in the season series. P.J. Carlesimo improved to 31-18 as the Nets' interim coach.

Brooklyn moved to a 31-18 lead in the first quarter behind 15 points from Lopez and 10 points and 10 rebounds by Evans. Lopez led a 13-0 surge toward the end of the first, driving for a basket, hitting an 18-foot bank shot and then driving the baseline for a reverse layup that staked Brooklyn to a 29-15 advantage.

With Williams sitting after picking up two fouls, Lopez and Evans continued to dominate the game for the Nets in the second period. Brooklyn took a 56-38 lead into the break, as Lopez collected 19 points and seven rebounds in the first two quarters and Evans had 14 points and 17 rebounds. Thanks to Evans, the Nets held a 36-16 rebounding advantage in the first half while limiting the 76ers to 34.1 percent shooting from the floor.

Philadelphia shot 37.5 percent for the game, while Brooklyn hit 45.2 percent of its shots.

NOTES: Sixers coach Doug Collins didn't hesitate when asked if he knew what the difference was in the play of Nets point guard Deron Williams from the beginning of the season to now. "Yeah, 15 to 18 less pounds," Collins said. "He made a real commitment, it's my understanding, right before the All-Star break to really get in great shape and he's done that." In the first 23 games after the All-Star break, Williams averaged 23.0 points and hit 48 percent from the floor, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range. In the 50 games before the break, Williams scored at a 16.7 rate, shot 41.3 percent from the floor and made 34.7 percent of his 3s. ... The Nets' Keith Bogans sat out with a tight lower back. ... Andrew Bynum and Andrew Richardson are both out for the 76ers with knee injuries. ... Both teams are in action on Wednesday, with the Atlanta Hawks visiting Philadelphia and the Nets heading to Boston to play the Celtics.
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