Nets host Nuggets in final game before break
(AP) -- The Brooklyn Nets used a team effort and some production from an unexpected source to survive their first of at least two games without Deron Williams.
They've had a difficult time with the Denver Nuggets in recent years no matter who is in uniform.
Brooklyn looks to avoid a ninth loss in the last 11 meetings Wednesday night when it hosts Denver, which hopes some key contributors will return from injury.
Williams sat out Monday's 89-84 overtime win at Indiana with inflammation in his ankles, and he'll also miss at least this contest while using the upcoming All-Star break to recover.
If his teammates play like they did Monday, the Nets (30-22) could be heading into the break on a positive note.
Brook Lopez scored 25 points, Reggie Evans grabbed 22 rebounds and rookie Tyshawn Taylor scored a season-high 12 points off the bench.
"It was great. It was a complete team game from top to bottom," Lopez said.
Joe Johnson added 17 points for Brooklyn, which had dropped three of its previous four and is averaging only 86.1 points and shooting 41.4 percent over its last seven.
"We wanted to come out tonight and make a statement," Johnson said. "We were just being very resilient. Guys were coming up big and making plays."
Taylor, whose scoreline has often read "DNP-Coach's Decision," made his case to get more playing time after playing the entire fourth quarter and overtime coming off the bench behind C.J. Watson. He played over 34 minutes after not playing more than 20 in any previous game.
"I'm happy for him," Johnson said. "A guy who comes in and works hard and gets an opportunity to play, and not only play, but play in a clutch and crucial situation, he was big for us tonight."
Taylor, a second-round draft pick who was acquired from Portland on draft night, also has spent time in the Developmental League.
"I'm confident in my game, so when coach puts me out there I just want to be aggressive," Taylor said, "It started getting down to crunch time and coach kept me in there, it just boosted my confidence."
The Nuggets will be looking to regain theirs after falling 109-108 at Toronto on Tuesday - their second straight loss after nine consecutive wins. They played, though, without Danilo Gallinari (sinus infection), Andre Iguodala (strained neck) and reserve Wilson Chandler (groin).
JaVale McGee also didn't play in the second half because of a sore left leg.
It's unclear if any of the four will be in uniform Wednesday.
Ty Lawson scored a game-high 29 points while Corey Brewer and rookie Evan Fournier combined for 15 replacing Gallinari and Iguodala, who are averaging 17.2 and 13.4 points, respectively.
"That's tough," Lawson said. "We didn't know until (earlier Tuesday) so we couldn't really plan for it."
Rudy Gay hit a jumper with less than five seconds remaining to hand another tough loss to Denver, which fell 118-114 in triple overtime Sunday.
"This one is even harder for me than Boston," coach George Karl said.
Denver, which will be concluding a four-game road trip, is averaging 113.4 points over its last 12. The Nuggets have averaged 112.2 points while winning five of the last six meetings with the Nets.