It turns out the New Jersey Nets didn't need Carmelo Anthony to put an end to their losing ways. All they needed was to know the situation was over with in order to keep their focus for four quarters, something that owner Mikhail Prokhorov provided before the game when he announced the team was walking away from the Anthony trade. Or at least that was the case for one night as the Nets took out the Utah Jazz 103-95 at the Prudential Center.
Leading the way for the Nets as they snapped their six game losing streak was one of the few players not involved in the Anthony trade talks, Brook Lopez. The center scored 20 points and while he only shot 6-for-17 from the floor, Lopez made it to the free throw line 11 times. Sasha Vujacic added 15 points off the bench and Devin Harris had 14 points and eight assists.
Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 21 points as Utah dropped their second straight game of their five game road trip. Deron Williams was good for 20 points and dished out a game-high 10 assists. On "Russian Culture Night", with Prokhorov watching the game from his box, Andrei Kirilenko scored 17 points thanks to shooting a near-perfect 13-for-14 from the charity stripe.
For the first time all season, the Nets actually played better than the score indicated. Late in the fourth quarter New Jersey held a 16 point lead before the Jazz mounted a furious rally to get within two points with less than two minutes remaining. Lopez answered with a basket to help kick off an 8-0 run that put win No. 11 in the books.
The Nets avenged a 98-99 loss from November and won their first against the Jazz in their last five meetings.
Next up for New Jersey is their recent almost-trade partner Detroit Pistons on Friday night.