AK-47, JET moving closer to return

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Nets didn't have a full on practice on Thursday, but they did go through a light walk-through.

And on one side of the court, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry were going through light drills, running, cutting a little and shooting off screens and picks with assistants and players. It was a good sign, considering both are key injured players the Nets can use on their bench.

Both are out against Philadelphia on Friday, but Jason Kidd was encouraged to see them on the court.

"They are working ... getting some shots, but good to see those guys getting close," Kidd said. "They are still working on [coming back]."

Kirilenko has missed the past 20 games with a back injury and has not played since Nov. 8. Terry has missed the past 14 games with a knee injury.

The Nets would love to get their two veterans back to bolster the bench before the New Year begins.

D-Will's minutes: In the five games Deron Williams has played since returning from an ankle injury, the Nets point guard has logged 37 or more minutes three times. He played 42 minutes in Wednesday's loss to Washington, as Kidd had to go with Williams on John Wall. And he played 41 minutes in a close loss to Detroit last Friday.

"He’s young," Kidd cracked of Williams' minutes. "No, I went with running him a little high yesterday [against Washington]. We were in the ballgame. And KG [Kevin Garnett], too. But it’s a day they can recover [on Thursday]."

While Williams is averaging 35 minutes since his return, he also is averaging 18 points and 9.2 assists during that span. And that is why the Nets are playing much better than they were without him.