The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 107-105 tonight in double overtime on a Joe Johnson jump shot at the buzzer. This was the first double overtime game and first buzzer beater in the history of the Brooklyn Nets. Johnson led the way for Brooklyn in the game with 28 points and 5 assists. Gerald Wallace played a great game and finished with 25 and 10 rebounds. The Pistons’ point guards, Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey, combined for 41 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Although casual fans may have enjoyed this game, this was not one that was fun to watch. The first quarter was very slow and boring and the Pistons had a 2-point lead heading into the second quarter. In the second, the Nets’ offense exploded for 36 points and they took a 59-47 lead into halftime. Earlier on in the season, the Nets blew leads in the third quarter, and they did that again tonight. They were outscored 30-14 in the third and the Pistons took a 4-point lead into the fourth quarter.
In that fourth quarter, neither team wanted to win. The Pistons tried to not score at all, but the Nets refused to capitalize on any of their mistakes. Rodney Stuckey missed a shot with 2 seconds left and the game tied. The Nets called a timeout and drew up a terrible play for Deron Williams, who didn’t come close to hitting the rim on his forced shot at regulation’s buzzer. The Nets only scored 17 points in the fourth, but they held Detroit to 13.
At the end of the first overtime, Rodney Stuckey again missed a shot, but the Nets didn’t have any timeouts this time. Joe Johnson tried to dribble the ball up the court, but was unable to get a shot off. In the second overtime, neither team was able to score. Each team kept on getting offensive rebounds and then missing shots again or turning the ball over. Eventually, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace were able to hit some shot to give the Nets a 2-point lead, but Kyle Singler got an offensive rebound and layup with 6 seconds left to tie the game. The Nets had the last shot and put it in the hands of Joe Johnson, who crossed over Tayshaun Prince and made a very long 2-pointer right at the buzzer. It was a fantastic finish to an un-fantastic game.
Neither team wanted to win this game, but the Pistons wanted to lose more than the Nets tonight. In both regulation and overtime, Detroit was in control of the game but was unable to close. It is not surprise that the Pistons are now 2-12 on the road. A more veteran team would have been able to close out Brooklyn, who wasn’t hitting many shots either.
The biggest issue for the Nets tonight was their rebounding. They were outrebounded 54-43 and gave up 18 offensive rebounds to Detroit. That is way too many and the Pistons had too many easy second-chance points. Another problem was the Nets’ inability to finish around the rim. They missed countless layups tonight and some of the layups didn’t even hit the rim.
One important note for Nets fans is that Brook Lopez finally returned from his injury tonight. He did not play in either overtime session because of his minutes limit. It is still unknown if Brook will play tomorrow in Chicago. I talk more about Brook below.
After losing 5 straight games, the Nets have now won their last two, even though they are two of the ugliest and worst wins I have seen in a long time. They have beaten the Raptors and Pistons, two of the east’s worst teams. Brooklyn struggled in both games, but somehow found a way to win. Tomorrow when they go to Chicago, they will need to play better than they did in either of the last two games if they want to win.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: B-
Reggie started again tonight even though Brook Lopez was playing. He played way too many minutes in this game, mainly because it went into double-overtime. In 34 minutes, he had 10 rebounds and 0 points. Even though he is not an offensive player at all, I still don’t know how he couldn’t at least make one basket in 34 minutes. He clearly got tired at the end of the game and therefore didn’t get more rebounds. Reggie is best utilized in quick spurts off the bench where he can give the most energy, not in long stretches of play.
Gerald Wallace: A+
The Nets should send a thank you card to Gerald Wallace for winning this game. The team did not play well enough to win, but Gerald Wallace willed them to the win at the end of the fourth quarter and overtime. I don’t know how many times he hit the floor very hard in the last couple of minutes of this game and how many hustle plays he had. He even looked great in the box score tonight: 25 points and 10 rebounds in 50 minutes. He also had a couple of huge blocks in the game. After the game was over, Wallace went over and gave Joe Johnson a hug because he was clearly exhausted and didn’t want to play a third overtime.
Brook Lopez: B
Lopez did not play very well tonight, but I will cut him some slack because it was his first game back. He had 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks in only 24 minutes. Avery Johnson did not play him in either overtime because he had a minutes limit. This became problematic when Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans both fouled out of the game, but the Nets were still able to hold on and win. Lopez didn’t look like he was 100% tonight, but it didn’t look like his foot was bothering him either, so that is good news. Avery Johnson said he didn’t think he would play Lopez on both games of the back-to-back this weekend, but with all the minutes played by the rest of the team today, I would not be surprised to see Brook play a few minutes tomorrow.
Deron Williams: D
Gosh, Deron had a really bad game. He got outplayed by both the Pistons’ starting and back up point guards, Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey. D-Will’s defense was awful in both of the overtimes and Stuckey took over at times. Offensively, Deron wasn’t much better. He somehow scored 17 points, but I don’t remember many of those points. His 6 assists were below average also. Another note about Deron is that he injured his leg in the first quarter, but finished the game. I don’t expect him to miss any time with this injury, but add it to the growing list of injuries Deron has suffered this season.
Joe Johnson: A
The reason Joe Johnson gets an A is because he was the player who finally ended this never-ending game. His buzzer beater at the end of the second overtime was the first buzzer beating win in the history of the Brooklyn Nets. On top of that, Johnson did play pretty well tonight. In a season high 52 minutes (wow), he scored 28 points on 12-22 shooting and also had 5 assists and 4 rebounds. However, he did miss a free throw in the final minute of the second overtime that would have given the Nets a 3-point lead, but he obviously made up for that. He also had a really cool behind-the-back flip layup in the first half that didn’t count.
Andray Blatche: C
Blatche’s defense tonight was pretty bad. He fouled out in only 24 minutes of playing time and he wasn’t boxing out anybody on the Pistons. He only had 2 rebounds tonight. Of offense, Blatche was effective, scoring 16 points on 7-12 shooting, but I don’t think that makes up for his bad defense and rebounding.
Marshon Brooks: C-
With Stackhouse out, Marshon had the opportunity to get some playing time tonight. He did not take advantage of it. He shot poorly, only 1-5, and his defense was as bad as usual. He also had a +/- of -14, which somehow wasn’t worst on the team.
Kris Humphries: D
The player who was worst on the team in +/- was Kris Humphries with a -16 in only 16 minutes. The Hump was pretty awful tonight. He pretty much had to play every minute of both overtimes because of the Nets’ foul trouble. He shot 0-5 from the field, didn’t get to the foul line once, and had 5 rebounds. With the Nets up by 2 and 10 seconds left, a defensive rebound went right to Humphries, but instead of grabbing it, he tipped it to Kyle Singler who had a wide open layup to tie the game. Humphries has played much worse this year than he did last year and he needs to figure this out.
C.J. Watson: B-
C.J. Watson was a team-leading +17 in 25 minutes. He had a beautiful over-the-head-no-look pass to Gerald Wallace for a dunk in the first half. He finished the game with 6 points and 4 assists. It didn’t seem like he made much of an impact.
After tonight, the Nets will have a quick turnaround and be in Chicago tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if they will be tired for that game. The Bulls did not play tonight and should be well rested. We will have full coverage of that game at FRWD.