By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Nets ran out the Philadelphia 76ers, 109-89 on Tuesday night, using a dominant third quarter to notch their six win in seven games under P.J. Carlesimo.
The Nets are now 20-15 and are within 3 1/2 games of the Knicks in the Atlantic Division. This is remarkable considering how the Knicks pulled away in December from the Nets and Boston Celtics. The Knicks have played around .500 ball the past three weeks, and the Nets have taken advantage with this winning streak to close the gap.
The Nets held a 48-47 lead at halftime, and did something rare this season: dominated in the third quarter.
The Nets opened the third with a bang, as Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, and Gerald Wallace had baskets and a Joe Johnson three-pointer made it a 9-0 run in the first three minutes.
A Wallace three opened up a 64-49 lead with 7:31 left in the third. The roll continued, as Williams hit a three to open up a 72-54 lead, and he set up a Lopez dunk to make it a 20-point lead at 76-56.
Overall, the Nets outscored Philadelphia 35-14 in the third quarter to seal the game.
Deron Williams’ improved play continued tonight as he led the Nets with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting with three 3-pointers and five assists. Andray Blatche had 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting with seven rebounds, a good end to a chaotic day (more on that below).
Joe Johnson had 15 points, Brook Lopez had 13, and Gerald Wallace 11 in reduced minutes since it was a blowout in the fourth quarter, which will help this team in the long run.
Reggie Evans is becoming a rebounding machine, as he hauled in 23 rebounds, 6 on the offensive end, and is cementing his spot in the starting lineup.
BLATCHE QUESTIONED ABOUT INCIDENT: Nets forward Andray Blatche was questioned by Philadelphia police after an alleged rape of a 21-year old woman occurred in his hotel room around 4 A.M. Tuesday morning. Philadelphis Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told The New York Times that another man committed the act, but that Blatche was present in the room for the alleged rape. The incident occurred after a night of partying at a strip club, and Blatche bought a group of women with his entourage back to his hotel room at the Four Seasons.