Brooklyn showing signs of life

When Williams can move like this, the Nets are so much more dynamic offensively and no longer look as old and as sluggish as they did over the first month of the season.

"You can see the energy has picked up and the pace has picked up, and I have a little bit to do with that," said Williams, who had 15 points and didn't need to play the fourth quarter. "It looks like we're having fun out there, and I think that's the difference."

Pierce is also back from a hand injury and is stomaching playing on the second unit. When he's out there with that group, they seem to take on a different look altogether and it lightens the load on Joe Johnson, who had been playing heavy minutes with that unit. Pierce isn't in love with the new setup, but that group turned the game in the Nets' favor with a huge second quarter Thursday, and he's willing to stay with it.

"I'm playing my part in this and that's what it is, to lead the second team," Pierce said. "As long as things keep going and we're winning games, I'm sacrificing for the good of the team."

The Nets are still far from healthy; Kidd hinted before the game that Andrei Kirilenko could be out until January with back problems, and Brook Lopez aggravated an ankle injury that could cause him to miss Friday's game in Detroit, when the winning streak will be tested against the big Pistons.

But even with the Lopez news, there were no lowered heads in the Nets locker room. For the time being, they do indeed seem to have a new lease on their season.

"We are playing better, we're a working group," Garnett said. "We put ourselves in this hole, but we're committed toward, obviously, getting ourselves out of it. The changes are evident."

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