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Nets 113, Mavericks 96

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Deron Williams spurned his hometown team last summer as a free agent and burned them Wednesday night with a huge second half to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Dallas Mavericks, 113-96.

Last season when Williams led the Nets to a victory at the American Airlines Center, located about 15 minutes from where he grew up, he said the arena was one of his favorites in the league. He left little doubt of that in the Nets' lone visit this season as he poured in 31 points, 26 in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn (40-28) climbed out of a 10-point deficit after the first quarter and opened 10-point leads of its own in the third and fourth quarters.

Dallas (32-36) trimmed an 85-77 deficit to start the fourth to 85-81, but Williams was too tough. He scored 10 of his 13 fourth-quarter points by hitting five of his first seven shots in the opening 5:32 of the final period. Joe Johnson's 3-pointer with 2:51 to play put the Nets ahead 106-96.

But before Williams, who also had six assists, heated up, Brooklyn headed into halftime tied at 51-51 thanks to its big frontline of Brook Lopez, Andray Blatche and rebounding machine Reggie Evans.

Lopez scored 18 of his game-high 38 points -- matching his total in last season's game in Dallas -- in the first half. Blatche came off the bench, hitting his first six shots and scoring all 14 of his points. Evans grabbed 17 of his 22 rebounds in the opening 24 minutes.

By late in the third quarter Brooklyn flipped their 10-point deficit after the first quarter into a 10-point lead, 85-77 and it ws looking for more before a Lopez turnover gave the Mavs an easy two as time expired.

The win was the Nets' second of a grueling eight-game road swing that heads West for the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Brooklyn has its sights set on the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, Dallas dropped its opener of a season-long six-game home stand and further damaged its dwindling playoff chances.

Mavs led 32-22 after the first quarter, but a 12-4 run by the Nets to start the second got them back in it quickly.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 16 points, Chris Kaman had 14 and Mike James finished with 13.

Nets guards Keith Bogans and Joe Johnson were Brooklyn's next high scorers after the Lopez, Williams, Blatche trio with nine points each.

NOTES: With his fourth rebound, Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki became the 10th player in NBA history to record 24,000 points and 9,000 rebounds. That group includes Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Kevin Garnett. ... Mavs forward Shawn Marion missed his eighth consecutive game with a calf strain. He said he might be ready to play Friday against Boston. ... Dallas had won six of the last seven meetings with the Nets, including a 98-90 victory on March 1 in its only trip of the season to the Nets' new home at the Barclays Center. ... Nets guard Keith Bogans returned after missing Monday's win at Detroit with a sore left ankle. ... The Nets won their their 18th road game of the season, the most since the 2005-06 season. ... Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo ran his record to 26-14, breaking a tie with Lawrence Franck for the best start in franchise history.
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