Joe Johnson stares down a win (Rocky Widner/ Getty).
The Brooklyn Nets' season has involved a steady stream of bad news and problems, from key injuries to embarrassing moments. Yet, just one game after their latest negative incident, in which players left the court early during a blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Nets have come away with one of their most thrilling and impressive wins of the season against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With 5.8 seconds on the clock and the score tied 103-103 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Joe Johnson inbounded to Kevin Garnett, took the ball back on a handoff, and got enough space to take a 19-footer over the 6-10 Serge Ibaka. The ball went through the hoop just after the buzzer, giving the Nets a 105-103 road victory. The basket followed Ibaka's own game-tying lay-in off a deflected pass from Kevin Durant on the previous possession.
It was another big shot for Johnson, who has been one of the league's best crunch-time players since joining the Nets. Over that period, in the last 10 seconds of games tied or within three points, Johnson is 6-of-6 from the field. In the last 30 seconds of games with that same margin, Johnson is 10-of-12. Those numbers are certainly the product of a small sample size, but they're pretty incredible regardless.
It's difficult to take too much from a single win in a season this disappointing, but the Nets can take many positives in coming back from a 16-point second-quarter deficit and winning the fourth quarter 29-16. Johnson's winner helped make up for a lackluster 4-of-11 shooting night overall, but Deron Williams starred with 29 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc and five steals. In all, the Nets forced 21 turnovers (and committed 19 of their own).
The Thunder, meanwhile, surrendered a 16-point lead for the second-consecutive home game after losing 98-94 against the Portland Trail Blazers on New Year's Eve. The Thunder are now 2-2 since Russell Westbrook underwent knee surgery that will keep him out at least through the All-Star Break.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Brooklyn Nets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Joe Johnson
- Kevin Garnett
- Serge Ibaka