Deron Williams wasn’t hoping for a miracle cure through a third set of cortisone injections in his aching ankles. But the Nets point guard hoped to get through one game with relief and maybe return to the way he always has shot the ball.

Well, he got to the third quarter at least before he tweaked his left ankle again.

“It’s what I’m used to all season,” Williams said after his 5-of-17 shooting dampened his 15-point, 13-assist double-double, all of which was overshadowed by the Nets losing, 106-96, to Houston last night at Barclays Center.

“At the start of the game, they felt as good as they’ve felt. As the game goes on, they get weaker and weaker,” said Williams who acknowledged lift on his shot is pretty much the stuff of dreams. “I’m just kind of used to that set shot all year because I know they’re going to hurt. And that’s not how I shoot. It’s tough to get out of that mentality.”

And it’s tough to get what he really needs for his ankles: rest. The Nets need Williams to play. But they need him to rest his ailing ankles so he can play. One solution? Get him as much rest as possible while he plays and directs the Nets’ playoff drive.

Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo is trying everything. He’d like to cut back Williams’ minutes. He played 40 last night.

Carlesimo already has reduced the grind of practice for Williams, who on Thursday received that third set of cortisone injections since training camp. He had one in camp, another before New Year’s and expects to receive an addition dose in each joint — the left is worse — before the playoffs.