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Deron Williams rejoins Nets' starting lineup

Deron Williams smiles after a play against the

Deron Williams smiles after a play against the Knicks during the second half at Madison Square Garden. on Jan. 20, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

INDIANAPOLIS - Deron Williams' stint as a reserve is over.

Looking to shake things up after a pair of rough games, Nets coach Jason Kidd reinserted Williams into the starting lineup against the Pacers on Saturday night, moving Alan Anderson back to the bench.

Since returning from a two-week hiatus after platelet-rich plasma therapy and injections in both ankles, Williams had come off the bench in the previous six games to work himself back into the mix without disrupting team chemistry.

But on Saturday night, Williams again was out there with the starters, joining Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Williams had 13 points, six rebounds and only one turnover in 39 minutes in the Nets' 97-96 loss. He shot 3-for-12.

Said Kidd, "I talked with the coaches and we thought this would be a good time to get him back into a rhythm with that first group."

"We felt it's time to get back to seeing the starting five before Deron got hurt. So what better time than tonight, to put him against one of the best defenses?"

Blatche, Kirilenko sit out

The Nets remained shorthanded, missing the services of Andray Blatche (bruised left thigh) and Andrei Kirilenko (strained right calf). Unlike Kirilenko, Blatche made the trip and was on the bench, but still was walking gingerly.

"Well, we've always faced teams through the season without someone," Kidd said. "So [that gave] someone else an opportunity to step up."

The Nets got 16 points from the bench Saturday night.

Spring reunion?

With their four games against each other already in the books before the All-Star break, the only way the Nets and Pacers will meet again is if it happens in the postseason.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said: "I think we will see them in the playoffs or they'll be one of the deep playoff teams. I think they're too talented. Jason Kidd is a basketball genius that's got a strong will and is a strong leader. And I think he'll do a good job with this team. So I think they'll be there in the end, for sure."

New York Sports