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Williams and Pierce return for Nets, with Pierce coming off the bench vs his old team

Deron Williams and Paul Pierce returned to the Brooklyn Nets against Boston, with Pierce coming off the bench against his former team after a quick return from a broken right hand.

Williams was in the starting lineup for his first game since spraining his left ankle again on Nov. 20 against Charlotte. He has missed the past nine games and played in just nine so far this season.

Pierce was expected to miss two to four weeks after he was injured on Nov. 29 at Houston, but ended up sitting out just four games before returning to practice Monday.

The Nets have been hit hard by injuries this season and are still without key reserves Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (left knee), who came with Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston.