The Brooklyn Nets trailed the Phoenix Suns by as much as 14 points and lost Deron Williams with an ankle injury in the first quarter, but a 16-0 run to start the third got them back in it as they eventually won with Joe Johnson taking the final shot in a 100-98 overtime victory in Phoenix Friday night.
“We had a hard fought game,” Johnson said. “We were very resilient tonight. Obviously, we had a good night shooting, but defense won this game tonight. We were very desperate tonight. There were guys that were really tired and gave it all they had. We just picked our intensity up defensively.”
D-Will backed into Andray Blatche and twisted his ankle just seven minutes into the game. He hopped off the court and missed the rest of the game, but x-rays were negative. Shaun Livingston took his place and played a phenomenal game with 18 points off the bench, a season high, six assists and two steals. He was only out played by Brook Lopez, who had 27 points, 25 in the second half, seven rebounds and three blocks.
The Nets started off slow and it was reminiscent of their ugly loss against the Kings on Wednesday. Paul Pierce was 3-of-6 from the floor and the rest of the team was 3-of-19 as they were outscored 29-18 in the first. Things were much better in the second quarter thanks to Livingston who scored 10 points and left the Nets down just four points going into halftime.
The third quarter was when the Nets really won this game. They took a 4-0 run from the end of the second and extended it to a 20-0 run with Lopez picking up 11 points and Livingston with four assists. When the run finally ended, the Nets had a 10-point lead. The Nets struggled to close out the game in the fourth quarter. Lopez continued to keep them in the game with 10 points and Joe Johnson tied it with 29.9 seconds in the game to send them to overtime.
Lopez continued working with four points in overtime. It was Joe Johnson who grabbed a rebound with 3.9 seconds left, raced down the floor, and put in the floater to win the game as the clock expired.