Nets hold off a late rally by the 76ers, 95-92, in a nice team effort

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets get back on track with a 95-92 victory over the 76ers.

The Nets made some news early on, when Avery Johnson decided make a last-minute change in the starting lineup by moving Gerald Wallace to the power forward position and slotting Keith Bogans (13 points, 3 rebounds, 35 minutes) into the starting lineup. This gave the Nets their 6th different starting lineup in this their 26th game of the season. Kris Humphries didn't play at all. Also, DNP-CD was MarShon Brooks.

At the start, the Nets came out sluggish early on, falling 12-4 after six minutes, and seeing the 76ers work them hard off the glass. Then, the Nets found their rhythm and went on a stunning 18-0 run, pulling ahead of the 76ers and maintaining their lead at the half, 43-41.

Andray Blatche was active on both sides of the ball, even drawing a charge, while Gerald Wallace (14 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) was all over the place, literally, a handful of times "crashing" down to the floor. In fact, he was facilitating the offense to the point where he had four assists to Deron Williams one dime in the first half.

In the second half, the Nets had finally figured out their third-quarter struggles, thanks in big part to Joe Johnson (22 points, 7 rebounds). The Nets out-scored the 76ers 26-23 in the third, with Johnson hitting two deep threes in the final minute of the quarter.

The fourth quarter turned into the Andray Blatche-C.J. Watson show, with both players providing a great spark off the bench and facilitating some exciting offense. At one point mid-way through the quarter Blatche turned a steal into a no-look pass to Watson on the fastbreak, which finished with Watson putting down an and-1.

From there it was all about closing. The 76ers pulled to within two points with about 10 seconds remaining, thanks to missed free throws by the Nets.

In the end, though, the Nets pulled out the victory thanks to some late-game sunken free throws. It wasn't a pretty close, but they were able to get it done.

The 76er game also continued a now obvious trend. Over last six games, Johnson has averaged 21.2 points (47 percent overall, 45.4 percent from three, 76.9 percent from the line). He's had games of 20+ points four of those six games. Meanwhile, Deron Williams, over those same six games, has averaged 16.5 points (41 percent overall, 37.5 percent from three and 73.1 percent from from the line). Williams had one 20 point game in the six.

An interesting note in this one, by the way, was the DNP-CD that Humphries picked up. Tim Bontemps tweeted after the game that Avery said "Humphries not playing was a coach's decision," and that it "[s]ounds like it could stay this way for awhile." For now I think some Nets fans are comfortable with the Blatche-Lopez-Reggie Evans triumvirate.

Next up for the Nets, they're home on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics for a 12:00 p.m. Christmas Day start.

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