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Plumlee Shines Yet Again as Nets win, 107-99

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - The Brooklyn Nets entered Monday's game against the Sacramento Kings winners in three of their last four games, but with a terrible loss in their last outing Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers. The bench really struggled (better word not family-friendly) -- even with Deron Williams and Brook Lopez playing with the second unit.

Then, on Monday, for the third straight game, Williams and Lopez (both) came off the bench.

Yup, that's right, the most expensive bench in the league struck again, but it was once again the "replacements" in the form of Mason Plumlee and Jarrett Jack shined brightly for Brooklyn. Plumlee led the way with 22 points, four rebounds and three steals on 10-of-16 shooting from the free throw line. Joe Johnson also had a solid night, finishing with 16 points and six rebounds.

The Nets owned their largest lead of the night at halftime (13) following two emphatic dunks from Plumlee that capped off an 11-0 run for the Nets to close out the half. The game looked to be in the palm of the Nets' hands, but a 7-0 run during the fourth quarter put Sacramento down five with five minutes remaining. The Nets put a halt to the run after Mirza Teletovic nailed two three-pointers to put them up 11 with 3:30 remaining. They ran away with it from that point on.

The final score: 107-99. Ultimately, it was Brooklyn's great second quarter that propelled them to victory, outscoring Sacramento 30-16 to find a 13-point lead heading into half.

"Every game is different," Hollins said of Plumlee's 16 free throws attempts."Last game I don't think he got there very often. It's just the way things worked out. He attacked and they were reaching a lot so he got to the line, but sometimes he doesn't. As long as he stays aggressive and plays and finished I'm happy."

Plumlee's individual success wasn't the only aspect that anchored the Nets to victory, though. As a team, the Nets shot 45% from the field and stole the ball 12 times. Sacramento turned the ball over 21 times. That  led to 25 points for Brooklyn. The Nets also took 39 free throws compared to 20 attempts for the Kings, an upper hand that led the Nets to a 27-16 scoring advantage.

Mason's Team USA counterpart in DeMarcus Cousins led the way for Sacramento with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. In terms of leading scorers, Rudy Gay led that category with 25 points and nine rebounds.

He also had the dunk of the night ... unless you count Kevin Garnett's step back into time below.

After the game, Cousins wasn't too thrilled. "We have to value the ball, show some urgency on a nightly basis. I don't know if we care."

Kevin Garnett also had himself a good night with 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals. His new starting point guard, Jarrett Jack, finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting. He's averaged over 20 points and six assists in his four starts prior to Monday night.

But his biggest moment came on a fast break when Sergey Karasev fed him beautifully for a dunk, a Kevin Garnett dunk!

After the game, as reporters pressed him about the dunk, KG engaged in some calculated self-mockery, aka some good fun.

Hollins said he wasn't surprised.

The Nets recouped after a poor game vs. the Pacers.

They were coming off a 5-for-32 shooting night, Brooklyn's bench was a major asset to their success vs. the Kings, Monday night. After all, with two of their stars a part of the second unit, it should be expected. They scored 38 points on 14-for-33 shooting, with Brook Lopez as the lead anchor with 11 points and six rebounds. Mirza Teletovic also scored 11 points, with six of them coming at crucial points in the fourth quarter. As for Deron Williams, well, he was awfully quiet against his possible future destination. He scored six points in 16 minutes played.

"We're winning. That's all that matters. We have 10 guys, we're not selfish, we're not bigger than the team. Whatever's getting it, and that first group is definitely rocking right now, you know let them rock," Deron Williams said.

The Nets have now won four out of their last five games heading into the second night of a back-to-back, Tuesday vs. the Chicago Bulls.

Quarter by quarter summary:

First quarter ... It was a hefty offensive opening for both teams, with Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson leading the way for Brooklyn. Jack, whose averaged 20 points per game in his four starts, scored nine points on 2-for-3 shooting and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Joe Johnson chipped in seven of his own, which meant the JJ combination tallied over half of Brooklyn's first quarter points on 55% shooting.

As a whole, the Nets shot 56% from the field with six turnovers and four assists. They trailed 28-27, with Ben McLemore jolting Sacramento with eight points on 3-of-3 shooting.

Second quarter ... Brook Lopez and Deron Williams started the second quarter with the second unit composed of Mirza Teletovic, Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson. During the eight minute stint with the second unit on the floor, the Nets scored 19 points and found a two point lead following two beautiful buckets from Brook Lopez. Interesting enough, Lopez had a game-high five rebounds. Brooklyn's bench scored 24 points compared to Sacramento's five.

The starters checked in around the four minute mark and immediately jumped out to an 11-0 run. They owned their largest lead of the night (13) after two emphatic dunks from Mason Plumlee, who had 10 points in 16 minutes played. The Nets were 54% from the field and forced 11 Sacramento turnovers off seven steals.

The two bright spots for Sacramento: DeMarcus Cousins (13 points) and Rudy Gay (12 points).

Score at the half: Nets 57, Kings 44.

Third quarter ... The Nets stayed consistent in the third quarter behind their starting unit. They kept a double-digit lead for most of the way, behind 17 forced turnovers and 30 free throw attempts by the end of the quarter. The Kings had just nine attempted free throws. The Nets and Kings scored 25 apiece as Brooklyn led, 82-69 heading into the fourth quarter.

The highlight: Before the quarter's end, Kevin Garnett stole the ball from Sacramento -- passed to a leaking Sergey Karasev, who then lobbed up an alley-oop pass to the trailing Garnett. Not bad for an old guy, eh?

Fourth quarter ... The Kings cut the Nets' double digit lead to five at one point, but Brooklyn held strong late in the game to cap off a big victory at home. It's their fourth win in their last five games.

Final score: Nets 107, Kings 99.

For more on the Sacramento Kings, check them out at Sactown Royalty.