Joe Johnson hit not 1, but 2 buzzer beaters Tuesday night as the Brooklyn Nets returned from the all-star break with an overtime thrilling win over the Milwaukee Bucks, 113-111. Johnson’s first buzzer beater was a 3 at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime. His second was a 2 at the buzzer to win the game for Brooklyn. Johnson finished the game as the Nets’ leading scorer with 24, but Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each also had 19. Brandon Jennings rode an unbelievable 3rd quarter to 34 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds for Milwaukee.
This game was similar to many Nets games we have seen this season. They jumped out to a big lead, blew it, and found a way to win at the end of the game. Brooklyn’s offense was excellent in the first half, leading them to 61 points and a 10-point lead. However, their third quarter woes continued in this game, and they were worse than usual. The Nets not only blew the lead, but were trailing by 1 heading into the fourth quarter. Brandon Jennings was responsible for most of that. The Bucks led for most of the fourth quarter by as many as 5 points, but the Nets continued to hang around and were down by 1 with the ball and 15 seconds remaining. Deron Williams drove and was called for an offensive foul on a flop by Monta Ellis. The Bucks got the ball back, made 2 foul shots, and then it was Joe Johnson time. JJ came off a screen and hit a pretty open 3 with about a second left on the clock to send the game to overtime. In the overtime, the Nets were quiet offensive, with Keith Bogans scoring Brooklyn’s first 6 points on two 3’s. Milwaukee was not great on offense either and the Nets were lucky enough to have the ball for the last shot. Of course, it went to Joe Johnson who took his defender to the top of the key where he swished his shot through just as the buzzer sounded to the delight of the Brooklyn fans.
This could have been a blowout win for the Nets, but they continued to have poor third quarters. Luckily, they have a man named Joe Johnson who was able to save them tonight. These were his third and fourth buzzer beaters of the season, to go along with many other big shots in fourth quarters and overtimes. The Nets have played very well in close games this season, mainly thanks to Johnson. They are now 5-0 in overtime this season and have won 10 straight overtime games overall.
Of course this game comes less than 2 days before the trade deadline, and it gives Billy King some things to think about. The Nets can definitely use a better power forward, and that was on display in this game. Neither Reggie Evans nor Kris Humphries stepped up, and that almost costed Brooklyn a win. Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, and others may be available. We will know soon if the Nets decide to make a trade.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Brook Lopez: B-
Lopez had a very strange game. He was very effective in the first 3 quarters and was benched in the fourth in favor of Andray Blatche. P.J. tried to bring him back in overtime but he wasn’t the same after sitting for an entire quarter and did not play well. Still, he had 19 points and 9 rebounds, so we can’t really complain.
Deron Williams: B
Deron probably had one of his better games with 19 points and 9 assists, but he also had 6 turnovers. He disappeared in the fourth quarter and overtime and never makes big shots for this team.
Joe Johnson: A++++
2 buzzer beaters in the same game. I think that’s all you need to know about him. Plus 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists doesn’t hurt either.
Andray Blatche: A
Didn’t play much in the first 3 quarters, but played so well in the fourth that P.J. didn’t want to bring Lopez back in to replace him. Made a lot of clutch shots in the fourth quarter, including 2 big foul shots in the closing seconds. He didn’t play in the overtime.
C.J. Watson: B+
Scored 11 points and was effective, but fouled out in only 20 minutes of play.
Keith Bogans: A
Very quiet in regulation, but hit 2 huge 3’s in overtime. Until Joe Johnson’s buzzer beater, Bogans was the only Net to score in overtime. Very strange.
These two teams will be back in action tomorrow night in Milwaukee just a day before the NBA trade deadline. FRWD will have full coverage of that game.