Friday night the Brooklyn Nets took on the Detroit Pistons at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn looking for a second straight victory after coming off a win in Toronto on Wednesday. The Nets did not play very well in Toronto but did come away with a win without the services of their big man Brook Lopez. Lopez had missed the previous seven games and the Nets went 2-5 without him.
Lopez was active against the Pistons and played well in 22 limited minutes with 9 points, 4 rebounds and three blocks.
The Nets got out to a 17 point lead in the second quarter only to squander that lead with a horrid 30-14 third quarter to give it all back and trail going into the final quarter 77-73.
This game was about the heart of Gerald Wallace and the pure scorers mentality of Joe Johnson as the two combined for 53 points and tremendous play after tremendous play throughout. Wallace played 53 minutes and scored 25 to go with 10 rebounds, two steals, two amazing blocks and at least 3 floor burns and bruises. Johnson made one big bucket after another in the fourth quarter and overtimes and scored 28 points and grabbed 5 rebounds but his late game shot making was the difference.
Wallace drove into the lane as Detroit led 103-100 in the second overtime when Johnson was double teamed and barreled to the basket to get the Nets to within a bucket. Johnson put them in the lead with a 5 foot runner in the lane making the score 104-103 Nets with :26 left in the second overtime. The Pistons Greg Monroe got fouled on the other end and missed both free throws and Johnson got the rebound and was immediately fouled and made one of two from the line to give the Nets a 105-103 lead with 10 seconds to play.
Game over right………………wrong.
The Pistons threw up a jump shot that somehow found its way to a wide open Kyle Singler under the basket and tied the game at 105 with 5.8 to play in overtime number two.
Game tied with 5.8 to go when Johnson inbounded the ball to Deron Williams and got the ball in return then drove to the right side of the floor, Tayshaun Prince guarding him, and took 20-foot step-back jumper at the buzzer to send the Barclays Center crowd into hysteria like never seen in the new building.
Brooklyn was rocking. Nets 107- Pistons 105
Johnson and the Nets jumped around like kids and everyone was all smiles after a hard fought double overtime thriller in Brooklyn. The shot by Johnson was patented Johnson that we have seen for years but must have felt great after his early season shooting woes that have been well documented. Joe Johnson said. “I wish I could’ve been in mid [season] form to start the season. But it’ll come. It’ll come.”
Johnson was later asked about his confidence in taking important shots. “The coaches and, like I say, my teammates have the confidence in putting the ball in my hands down the stretch, then I have to come up big for us.”
Williams knew how hard the game was and what kind of game Johnson had. “We fought all game and he carried us through the fourth quarter and overtimes,” Williams said, “and I don’t think anybody wanted to play a third overtime, so I guess he knew we needed to get to Chicago.”
Interestingly enough coach Avery Johnson told the media about a week or so ago that he expected Johnson to come into form around mid-December. His words sounded prophetic today when asked what day it was with a smile during the post game.
“It’s the middle of December,” Avery Johnson said. “It’s time now, Joe. … It wasn’t a secret that we were going to give him the ball and ride his back. That’s what we’re looking for from Joe.”
I guess Avery was right.
The Nets haven’t had a buzzer-beater like that since Feb. 23, 2009, when Devin Harris hit a game-winner against Philadelphia.
John Paolantonio is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the Brooklyn Nets. Follow John on twitter @pingshoops and like his page on FaceBook for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.