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What bench? Mavs defeat Nets, 91-79, as reserves held to TWO points

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets knew the ride across the bridge this season would be a long one, especially without Deron Williams. They might be happier on the ride, but that doesn't make it go any quicker.

Now they're playing AGAINST Deron Williams, the former face of the franchise now of the Dallas Mavericks. At 12-34, nothing has been easy to swallow, but it's bittersweet that Williams and the Mavs find themselves in the midst of a playoff race while the Nets find themselves at the bottom of the East during this "bridge year".

Williams didn't exactly make the Nets pay, but his team made things harder for the Nets and its fans Friday night as the Mavericks dropped them, 91-79, in Dallas. The former Net finished just 3-of-14 from the field, but similar to the last matchup between the two teams, an unlikely hero propelled the Mavs.

This time it was Zaza Pachulia, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Chandler Parson also had a nice night with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

With the loss, The Nets are now 12-35 on the season and 3-12 in the cold month of January. They're also 4-17 on the road this season. There's no place like home, right? (Well no, they're 8-18 there).

I guarantee that you've never heard this one before.

The Nets got off to a truly terrible start. They fell down by 18 in the second quarter and the bench was held scoreless in the first 24 minutes of action. Aside from Brook Lopez and Donald Sloan, the offense was simply nonexistent.

They trailed by 12 at half and cut it down to seven in the third, but once Lopez checked out of the game, things spiraled out of control like usual. The offense was lost and the bench looked like a group of deer in headlights.

Lopez did all he could and finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Through three quarters (37 minutes), the bench was still scoreless. Fortunately, Andrea Bargnani snapped the ugly streak with a bucket to start the fourth. They finished with two points on the night compared to 33 points from the Dallas bench.

Despite another game in New Orleans Saturday, Tony Brown wasn't throwing in the white towel. He inserted the starters back in and the closest they got was 11.

Everybody in the starting lineup scored double figures. Donald Sloan and Joe Johnson were the runner-ups behind Lopez with 13 points apiece, Wayne Ellington with 12 and Thaddeus Young with 11 and five assists. Too bad the bench decided to stay back in Brooklyn... if even.

The Nets shot 36 percent from the field and committed 10 turnovers to 13 assists on the night. The Mavs shot 46 percent and dished out 22 assists. Ball movement usually helps.

Next up: Saturday at New Orleans, 7:00 pm.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check them out at Mavs Moneyball.