Brook Lopez and Paul Pierce leading the Nets charge

Al Bello

Brook Lopez is averaging 20.points a game, along with six rebounds and three blocks, shooting 58.5 percent overall and 80 percent from the line, all in 28 minutes. He second, behind only Chris Paul in PER among those who've played four games (ninth among all players).

He's getting recognition and praise from his teammates, particularly Kevin Garnett. One reason cited for the Nets success vs. the Jazz was that the Nets played inside out and Lopez dominated his former teammate Derrick Favors.

"I feel like I've gotten in better shape each game. I think it took me a few pre-season games to get used to playing at that weight, but now I feel like I'm getting used to it," Lopez said. "I just wanted to try to come out strong, give our guys a good energy, and hopefully continue it throughout the game and give us something to ride on."

Lopez is being backed up, surprisingly not by Deron Williams or Kevin Garnett, but by Paul Pierce. Pierce is the Nets' second-leading scorer at 15.8 points per game. He's shooting almost as good from the field, at 55.5 percent and 35.7 from deep and nearly perfect, 94.7 percent, from the stripe. He's also averaging 3.3 assists, behind Williams and Shaun Livingston. He's 20th in PER.

"He's kind of kick-started us every game," Joe Johnson said Tuesday, "as far as whether it's a three or a big play, period, offensively."

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