Brook Lopez back from ankle sprain

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez started Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards, scoring 22 points in the team's 113-107 loss.

Lopez had missed the last two games after respraining his left ankle Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Lopez has missed nine games overall due to a sprained left ankle. He originally suffered the injury Nov. 15 in Phoenix and missed seven games a result.

Lopez, 25, entered the night averaging a team-high 20.5 points per game on 56.8 percent shooting along with 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He currently ranks fifth in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating behind Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis.

Lopez started alongside point guard Deron Williams, shooting guard Joe Johnson, small forward Alan Anderson and power forward Kevin Garnett.

Paul Pierce came off the bench for the fifth straight game, scoring a game-high 27 points. Nets coach Jason Kidd said Pierce is "understanding that it makes the team stronger."