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Nets-Pelicans Preview

The Associated Press

The surging Brooklyn Nets have taken their push for the Atlantic Division lead on the road and will try to keep rolling against a team that's been successful of late despite being virtually out of the playoff hunt.

The Nets will seek to match a season high with their fifth straight win Monday night while denying the New Orleans Pelicans their seventh victory in 10 games.

Brooklyn (37-31) remained within 1 1/2 games of division-leading Toronto after earning its 11th win in 13 games Sunday, beating Dallas 107-104 in overtime. The Nets rallied from a 13-point deficit late in the third quarter and took command by outscoring the Mavericks 12-4 to start the extra period.

Joe Johnson had the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime as part of his team-leading 22 points. He also hit the tying layup in regulation, and Marcus Thornton provided 20 points off the bench in the opener to a three-game trip.

Brooklyn is also one game behind Chicago in the race for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

"This is huge. This is a confidence booster to start this mini-road trip we've got," Johnson said. "We've got some confidence going into New Orleans."

The Nets will try to add to that confidence with their third five-game win streak of the season and first since Jan. 16-26. Brooklyn, an Eastern Conference-best 27-10 since Jan. 1, has won three in a row over the Pelicans (29-40) and prevailed 93-81 at home Feb. 9 in their other matchup this season.

The Nets shot 53.0 percent and Mason Plumlee led a balanced effort with a career-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. None of Brooklyn's starters scored in double figures, but the club got 59 points from its bench.

Anthony Davis had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Pelicans, and he has played a major role in his team's recent strong showings. He's averaged 32.3 points on 58.0 percent shooting and 13.5 rebounds while playing in eight games of the 6-3 stretch.

Davis had 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting and 11 boards in a 105-95 win over visiting Miami on Saturday. It was a franchise-best third consecutive game with 30 or more points and at least 10 rebounds.

Davis has also registered at least 28 points and nine or more rebounds in eight consecutive games for the longest such streak in the league since Shaquille O'Neal's 12-game run for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001.

"I don't care what I score as long as we win,'' Davis said. ''But if it comes to me, I'm not going to turn down any shots. Whoever has the hot hand, the team goes to them to make sure they stay in their groove."

Even with Davis' recent efforts, the Pelicans are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoff race. They currently trail eighth-place Dallas by 12 games in the West with 13 to play.

New Orleans is facing Brooklyn at home for the first time since a 101-97 loss Feb. 26, 2013. Deron Williams helped the Nets snap a four-game road losing streak in the series with 33 points and eight assists.

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