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Nets may lose home-court edge vs. Warriors

NEW YORK -- DeMarre Carroll knows the stands at Barclays Center will be filled even if a significant portion of the crowd is rooting for the visiting team.

Still, Carroll believes the Brooklyn Nets will be ready for the challenge of facing the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

"Love it," Carroll said. "Like I tell all these guys, this is what you live for. It's going to be a packed house. We don't know how many of them -- Brooklyn Nets fans -- we'll have. But at the end of the day, this is where you show and improve. Just like we did against Cleveland, everybody doubted us and counted us out, but we gotta go out and show who we are."

Those were Carroll's comments after the Nets played arguably their most complete game of the season in a 118-107 win over the Utah Jazz. The Nets shot a season-high 50.8 percent, led for the final 41-plus minutes and by as much as 22, setting up the excitement of facing the defending champions.

Those words were spoken about 24 hours before the Warriors pulled off the largest comeback in the NBA this season by rallying from 24 points down to get a 124-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Warriors are heading to Brooklyn after allowing 47 points in the first quarter and, also producing a 47-point third quarter.

But one star won't be on the floor as the Warriors announced Sunday that forward Kevin Durant will miss the game with a sprained left ankle.

Durant suffered the injury during Saturday night's win over the 76ers. He scored 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting with five rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes.

Durant is considered day-to-day and the injury is not believed to be serious. Durant is averaging 24.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

Having Durant against the 76ers didn't prevent the slow start.

"We just didn't compete, I think our guys just felt like they had to get out there and start playing and they did," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "And obviously, it was an incredible third quarter."

Kerr made similar comments the last time the Warriors were in Brooklyn on Dec. 22. They trailed by 16 at halftime but dominated the third quarter and handed the Nets a 117-101 loss.

The differences between Golden State's last visit to Brooklyn were two drastically different performances by Stephen Curry. In the last meeting at Brooklyn, Curry was 6 of 19 but Saturday, he scored 20 of 35 points in the third quarter.

"It took us 24 minutes to get there," Curry said, "But we found a way to give ourselves some life -- and off to the races from there."

Golden State's impressive comeback was its seventh win in eight games. It also was the Warriors' fourth when trailing by at least 15 points, two shy of last season's total.

"The communication was on a different level coming into that third quarter," Durant said. "It was just like a perfect storm. We don't want to have to do that every night, but it was good that we came out and played with a different level of energy and intensity."

While hoping not to experience the same fate as Philadelphia, the Nets will be attempting to get consecutive wins for the second time this season. They also will be curious to see if Spencer Dinwiddie can come close to replicating the best game of his career.

Dinwiddie is the starting point guard until D'Angelo Russell returns from arthroscopic knee surgery.

On Friday, Dinwiddie totaled 25 points, eight assists while hitting six 3-pointers and not committing a turnover. He was the first player in franchise history to produce such a game and Dinwiddie shot 9 of 14, including 6 of 10 from 3 to set career highs in field goals and 3-pointers.

The 24-year-old, whom the Nets signed Dec. 8, is averaging 16 points in four starts on 46.8 percent shooting. Overall, Dinwiddie is averaging 11 points, 5.6 assists and shooting 44.6 percent from 3-point range.

Before Friday, Dinwiddie's previous career high was 22 in a 112-107 win over Cleveland on Oct. 25. The Nets are 3-7 since beating the Cavaliers, whom like the Warriors will visit Brooklyn on the second night of a back-to-back.

Besides seeing if Dinwiddie can produce another steady offensive showing, the Nets will be curious to see how he fares defensively against Curry, who is averaging 23.2 points in 14 games against the Nets.

"With anybody, especially with great scorers, there has to be some level of help," Dinwiddie told reporters after practice Saturday. "Obviously you have to pick (Curry) up a lot further out than most people and be cognizant of him off the ball because he's a great mover off the ball. His gravity that he creates on offense is second to none, but you've got to stick to your principles. Boston got a win by doing that. That's what we're looking to try to do."

The last time the Nets hosted the Warriors, they struggled to contain Durant. Durant scored 17 of his 26 points after halftime with 11 of those points coming during a 39-point third quarter that resembled what unfolded in Philadelphia Saturday.

The Warriors are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings against the Nets and 11-5 since Curry entered the league in 2009.

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