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Nets finally beat Bucks

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- It took nearly four years, but the Nets finally beat the Milwaukee Bucks, and it took two last-second shots by Joe Johnson to do it.

Johnson's 15-foot fall-away jumper from the top of the key gave Brooklyn a 113-111 overtime victory at the Barclays Center, snapping a string of 13 consecutive losses to Milwaukee that dated back to 2009.

"It was a normal out-of-bounds play," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "Give the ball to Joe and get out of the way. He's been doing this his entire career."

Johnson, who finished with 24 points, hit a 3-pointer with one second left in regulation to force the overtime.

"My teammates had the utmost confidence in me in the huddle and I just try to come through in big games like that," Johnson said. "It's always a great feeling, whether it's in the regular season or in the playoffs."

Johnson said he didn't feel any pressure when Carlesimo was drawing up the play for him. What inspired him were the words from his teammates.

"He just drew the play up and told me to go get a bucket," Johnson said. "My teammates were saying 'C'mon Joe, let's go.' Just hearing those words of encouragement and seeing how desperate they were for me to come through meant a lot. I'm thinking of what they're going to do, but at the end of the day, it's just instincts that take over. It's just the feeling you get."

Johnson's clutch shots ruined another sparkling performance by Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings, who led all scorers with 34 points. Jennings has scored 85 points in three games against the Nets this season. His shot to give the Bucks the lead in overtime rolled out with 11.9 seconds left before Johnson won it for the Nets.

In overtime, Keith Bogans' 3-pointer from the left arc tied the game at 111-111 for Brooklyn, setting the stage for Johnson.

Johnson's late-game heroics overshadowed a huge performance by the bench for the Nets, whose reserves gave Brooklyn a 44-15 scoring advantage over Milwaukee's bench.

"The bench was the difference in the game," Carlesimo said. "They were unbelievable."

Leading the way for the Nets bench was Andray Blatche, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, and C.J. Watson, who came on to score 11 points.

"I think the bench is as important as anything else in the game," Nets guard Deron Williams said. "When your starters go out and guys come in and give you a lift, that's what you're looking for and that's what they did tonight."

The Nets trailed, 103-102, when Williams was called for an elbow with seven seconds showing in the fourth, and Jennings followed with two free throws to give the Bucks a 105-103 edge with six seconds left. But Johnson's 3-pointer tied the game at 105-105 with one second to go, forcing the extra session.

"A lot of shots went in for them," Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute said. "They made some tough shots, but we'll play them tomorrow. Joe Johnson is a phenomenal player. This is not the first time he made a shot like this."

Ersan Ilyasova ended with 21 points and Monta Ellis had 18 for Milwaukee. Johnson paced the Nets with 22 and Brook Lopez and Williams dropped in 19 apiece for Brooklyn.

Williams showed that his ankles were feeling just fine from the start of the game. The point guard came up with seven points, four assists and three rebounds in the opening quarter. Williams nailed a 3-pointer, converted a fast-break layup and then fed Gerard Wallace for two points in the middle of a 14-5 run that was capped by Johnson's 3-pointer as Brooklyn took a 22-16 edge.

Williams and Lopez each had seven points and Johnson six in the first period when the Nets moved to a 31-24 lead.

The Nets led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, taking a 56-41 lead on a side jumper by Lopez with 2:29 showing in the first half. Brandon Jennings, who had 11 points in the first half, helped cut the Bucks' deficit to 56-49 with 55.4 seconds to go in the half.

But Williams sank two foul shots and then drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it a 61-51 Brooklyn lead at the break.

Jennings practically erased the Bucks' 10-point halftime deficit by himself in the third quarter. The Milwaukee guard dazzled the crowd with a double-crossover that shook Williams before he drained a 3-pointer that tied the game, 73-73, with 4:38 left in the third.

In the third, Jennings hit 6 of 8 shots from the floor, including two 3-pointers, as he scored 16 of his team's 30 points, giving Milwaukee an 81-80 edge heading into the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Not only did the Nets snap a 13-game skid to the Bucks, it also broke a string of seven straight home losses to Milwaukee. The two teams play again Wednesday night in Milwaukee. ... The Nets are now 5-0 in overtime games this season and own an NBA-best 10-game winning streak when the game goes into overtime. ... P.J. Carlesimo improved his record as interim coach to 18-8. ... It was Joe Johnson's 14th game with 20-plus points and marked the 16th time he led the team in scoring. ... The Nets hit 10 of 19 3-pointers in the game, making them 26-for-46 (56.5 percent) from beyond the arc in their last two games.
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