Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Injury bug bites Nets hard
LOS ANGELES -- Paul Pierce's on court reunion with Doc Rivers is going to have to wait.
The Nets announced Saturday that Pierce is going to sit out the final game of the team's three-game West Coast swing due to a sore left groin, meaning he won't be able to suit up against his old coach Doc Rivers when the Nets take on the Clippers at Staples Center. But Pierce won't be the lone starter sidelined. He'll be joined by Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, who have been ruled out, and possibly Kevin Garnett, who's listed as a game-time decision.
All three are nursing sprained ankles suffered in Friday night's overtime win over the Suns in Phoenix.
Williams went down 4:40 into the game, his left leg landing on the foot of Suns forward Miles Plumlee as he attempted to follow up his own missed shot. X-rays taken were negative and although he was frustrated, Williams said this sprained ankle wasn't as bad as the right ankle sprain he suffered during a workout in September that shelved him for the better part of the preseason.
"Not even close," Williams said outside the locker room Friday night, standing on his own power. He also wasn't wearing a walking boot nor did he need crutches.
"The other one is an inside ankle sprain. Totally different. It shouldn't be too bad."
Garnett and Lopez collided late in the fourth quarter after PJ Tucker's three-pointer gave the Suns a 92-90 lead with 39.9 seconds left in regulation. However, both stayed in the game and Garnett suggested he wasn't all that banged up.
Pierce's injury apparently cropped up in the third quarter, but he still played the entire fourth quarter and all of the five-minute extra session. After the Nets pulled it out against Phoenix, Pierce talked about hs he was looking forward to catching up with Rivers and trading wits on the hardwood.
"It’s going to be fun," Pierce said. "Both of us went our separate ways. This will be a chance to play against him, I know a lot of things that he runs offensively and defenisievly. So, maybe we can use that as an advantage. But on the flip side, he knows my game and he knows KG’s game inside out."
But he won't have to worry about Pierce's game Saturday night. Time will tell if the same goes for Garnett.