Weary but a winner, Brooklyn Nets welcome Sacramento Kings to Barclays

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo

When the buzzer FINALLY went off in Washington and Joe Johnson was wrapped in his teammates' embraces, hip and shoulder bumps, a new clock began. It was a mere 21 hours from game's end to Saturday night's start time in Brooklyn. Luckily for the Nets, their opponent Saturday night, the Kings, played (and also won) in Toronto. With a bit of a longer trip and customs and immigration to contend with, the two teams probably hit the sack around the same time.

Saturday's game will conclude a six games in nine days stretch, a stretch that matches P.J. Carlesimo's tenure as Avery Johnson's replacement. The only Nets coach to have a better start was another assistant, Lawrence Frank, who went 13-0 in 2004.

And while the Kings only have a 13-20 record, they've won six of their last 10, three of their last four and two straight including a 105-96 win Friday night. And they're doing it all without Tyreke Evans who hasn't played since mid-December and won't play Saturday either. Leading the charge Friday and in recent games, DeMarcus Cousins. His stat line would excuse a lot of mental issues in some people's minds, but apparently not the Nets who have denied interest in the highly volatile Cousins. He scored 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting, grabbed 20 rebounds handed out four assists and recorded two steals (video). Of course, the Raptor starting front line consisted of Aaron Gray and Ed Davis. Amir Johnson played nine minutes, fouled out and went scoreless.

The Kings are doing it all with offense. Over that stretch of ten games, they're in the NBA's top ten in points, field goal percentage, three point percentage free throw percentage and assists. Also, in that stretch, they're 5-0 when reaching 100 points. Rebounding, despite Cousins, remains a problem. They're 25th in the NBA over the last 10.

For the Nets, other than fatigue, they don't have much injury concern. C.J. Watson and Kris Humphries will be re-evaluated, as will Jerry Stackhouse, whose balky knee has been troubling him. Expect with the Kings big lineup the Nets will pair Andray Blatche again with Brook Lopez, who over the last five games Over the last five, Lopez is averaging 25 and 9 to Cousins 19 and 14.

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