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Nets beat Raptors for season-high 7th win in a row

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013
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NEW YORK (AP) — P.J. Carlesimo put his head in his hand, sighed and brushed back his hair, hardly looking like a guy with a 9-1 record.

"I'm really struggling," he started, adding that the Brooklyn Nets faced a "major, major concern."

It's a good one, though. They simply have so many guys playing well that it's tough for Carlesimo to get them all minutes.

Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each scored 21 points, and the Nets extended their season-high winning streak to seven games with a 113-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

Andray Blatche added 14 points for the Nets, in the midst of their longest winning streak since running off 14 in a row late in the 2005-06 season. A .500 team when they fired Avery Johnson late last month, Brooklyn has won nine of 10 under its interim coach and pulled within 1½ games of the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead.

"We're just kind of feeding off each other, man. We're in a nice rhythm right now and hopefully we can keep it this way," Johnson said. "It's a lot of fun to watch and I'm sure guys are having a great time in this locker room."

The Nets, with the NBA's longest current winning streak, pulled away early in the fourth quarter for their sixth straight home victory.

Kyle Lowry scored 21 points for the Raptors, who have dropped two in a row but still have 10 wins in their last 15 games. Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson each finished with 15 for the Raptors, whose 14 turnovers led to 24 points.

"We just uncharacteristically lost it, turned the ball over and every time we did they scored on it," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "I thought it was the difference in the game."

Mirza Teletovic added 10 points off the Nets' bench, keying a second-quarter hot streak that snapped Brooklyn out of a sluggish start.

After allowing 13 points to Phoenix and 11 to Indiana in its last two fourth quarters, Brooklyn quickly pulled away at the start of the final period in this one.

Blatche had three baskets and MarShon Brooks the other two in a 10-2 burst to open the quarter, with both contributing to one of the Nets' prettiest plays of the season that capped it.

Teletovic blocked a shot to trigger a fast break, with Brooks and Williams exchanging passes as they rushed up the floor before Williams threw a pass behind his back to a trailing Blatche, who put it in for a 93-78 advantage with 8:03 to play.

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