The Brooklyn Nets just came off their biggest win of the year on Wednesday night when they beat the NBA‘s best team in the Oklahoma City Thunder on their home court and then got on a plane and went to play the worst team in the league in the Washington Wizards. The Nets were trying to make sure they didn’t go from the highest of highest to the lowest of lows.
The game in Washington was the third game of the recent road trip and the Nets wanted to make sure they came out of it with a winning record. The game was also the homecoming for Andray Blatche who was playing against his old team for the first time since being amnestied and was booed mercilessly throughout the game while finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds and four steals in 19 minutes of play.
The game did not go as planned from the start when the Nets looked like they were in a fog on the defensive end and allowed the Wizards to take a 10 point lead after the first quarter. The Nets climbed their way back into the game behind great 3-point shooting and ended the half down only 55-52.
The game was close in the second half until the Nets finally broke through to take the lead with a MarShon Brooks driving layup to give the Nets an 86-84 lead which they would not be able to hold onto and the Wizards continued to fight back and force overtime.
The first overtime did not start well for the Nets as the Wizards took an 8-0 run and looked to be on their way to winning the game until the Nets fought back and scored the next 11 points to take a three point lead into the final 3.4 seconds. Bradley Beal came off a screen and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with no time remaining to force a second overtime and the game seemed to never end.
This game was very hard to watch as Nets fans as well as the players themselves, who are looking for consistency from this team after the recent firing of their head coach. They looked to take a step toward that with a big win on the road beating the Thunder, but this game proved they are not there yet. This game was a struggle by every sense of the word.
The Wizards hung tough and pushed it to a second overtime and the game continued to go back and forth and it looked like the team that had the ball last would come away with the win and that is exactly what happened.
The game was tied at 113 with 9.1 seconds left and the Nets went to a familiar play out of bounds where Joe Johnson in-bounded the ball to Deron Williams and Williams handed it right back to Johnson who ran the clock down and on the right side of the floor only to see a double team rush at him. Johnson took a hard dribble to the basket as the double came and pulled up from the right wing and drained a contested jump shot to give the Nets a 115-113 lead with .7 seconds remaining. The Wizards last ditch heave did not hit anything and the Nets escaped Washington with a hard fought win at the Verizon Center 115-113.
Johnson also hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in double OT on Dec. 14 against the Pistons so this is becoming second nature to him and the Nets.
The win was great for the Nets although they will have little sleep for the weary and they now head home to take on the surging Kings in Brooklyn Saturday night.