It's likely no coincidence the New Jersey Nets' recent run of success has come with a healthy Devin Harris in the lineup.
Coming off a dominating effort while under the weather, the fifth-year point guard looks to help the Nets to a third straight victory while trying to send the rival New York Knicks to a seventh consecutive road loss Wednesday night.
Playing with the flu, Harris scored 27 points while recording eight assists and four steals in New Jersey's 95-84 victory at Philadelphia on Saturday night.
"He pushed through it, and that's a credit to him and his toughness,'' said Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who expects Harris to be feeling better for this contest. "We talked before the game about laying it all on the line because we (had) three days off before (Wednesday's game against the Knicks).''
Harris, who came over as part of the February trade that sent Jason Kidd to Dallas, is averaging a team-leading 24.4 points and 6.1 assists for New Jersey, which is 9-3 since its point guard returned from missing three games with a sprained left ankle.
He is averaging 26.3 points and shooting 50.8 percent since returning from the injury and was 9-for-17 from the field against the 76ers.
"I wasn't feeling that great and I didn't warm up at all,'' Harris said. "But once you get a couple of shots to drop, it seems to open up a bit more.''
Harris, who has seemed to overshadow Vince Carter and his 22.5 points per game, hopes his shots will fall more against New York than they have in the past. He's averaging 7.9 points on 36.4 percent shooting in eight career games versus the Knicks.
Carter, meanwhile, has consistently played well against the Knicks averaging 25.1 points in 35 career games.
While New Jersey looks to win consecutive home games for the first time this season, it will try to avoid a third straight loss to New York at the Izod Center. Two of the Knicks' eight road wins last season came at New Jersey in going 3-1 in the season series with their neighboring rival.
New York (9-12) lost 105-100 at Chicago on Tuesday to open a five-game road trip. The Knicks are 2-8 and allowing 106.4 points on the road, where they last won 132-103 at Memphis on Nov. 12.
Al Harrington scored 28 points, Quentin Richardson added 22 and former Bulls guard Chris Duhon had 15 with 14 assists for the Knicks, who played just seven players and couldn't hold on to a five-point fourth-quarter lead.
"We ran out of gas a little bit toward the end,'' Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "But I was really happy with the effort and what we did for most of the game. We'll get better.''
Harrington continues to play better than he did before being traded from Golden State where he averaged 12.4 points in five games this season. The veteran forward is averaging 22.9 points in eight games with the Knicks.
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