The Brooklyn Nets recorded one of their biggest wins of the season Sunday night, winning on the road, 107-104 in overtime over the Dallas Mavericks. Brooklyn was led by Joe Johnson, who hit the game-tying shot in regulation and also had big shots in overtime. He finished with 22 points. Marcus Thornton also had 20 off the bench. Monta Ellis scored 32 for Dallas, while Samuel Dalembert had 7 blocks and 15 rebounds.
Things were not going Brooklyn’s way at the start of this game. It seemed like they were not getting any of the 50/50 balls and calls were going against them. They were down by 14 points after the first quarter and were down by as many as 12 in the second half. However, sparked by Marcus Thornton and then led by the veterans on this team, they were able to get back into this game and steal it in overtime. Dallas is a team more desperate than Brooklyn, as there is no guarantee they will even make the playoffs. But the Nets had the killer instinct tonight and picked up a huge win against a very good home team.
Player grades and notes:
Mason Plumlee: D+
After 3 straight excellent games, Plumlee couldn’t figure out Samuel Dalembert tonight. He was just 2-8 from the field for 5 points and got blocked by Dalembert probably 5 times. The Nets chose Blatche to play over him in the 4th quarter, but because Blatche was so bad, Plumlee played the overtime and was better than Andray.
Paul Pierce: B+
Pierce had an awful first 3 quarters, but he showed up when he needed to. His big weapon tonight was the ability to draw fouls. 9 of his 15 points came at the foul line. He was just 3-10 from the field and did not make a 3. Defensively, he did a great job on Dirk, forcing him into taking some shots he didn’t want to take. As long as Pierce shows up when the game is on the line, the Nets will be ok.
Shaun Livingston: A-
Livingston also heated up towards the end of the game. He was awful in the first half and did not even have a field goal attempt, but he finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. His biggest steal came in the overtime where he tipped away a pass and then finished on the other end with a layup. He also defended Dirk Nowitzki as well as anybody despite being a point guard. Really impressive defensive game tonight.
Deron Williams: B+
Deron’s shot wasn’t falling, but like Pierce he was able to get to the foul line and showed up when needed. He had the dagger 3-pointer in overtime to put the Nets up by 8 with just over a minute remaining. It was his only 3 of the entire game. Deron has never been clutch as a Net until the last month or so, when he has hit some big shots.
Joe Johnson: A+
He is Joe Jesus for a reason. Joe came up clutch yet again for the Nets tonight, tying the game with 10 seconds remaining after a gutsy decision to not call a timeout. Then, in overtime, he put Brooklyn up for good with a 3 as well as a tough fadeaway over Shawn Marion.
Marcus Thornton: A+
Thornton will be lost in the story of this game because he didn’t play at all in the last 5 minutes or overtime, but if not for him, the Nets wouldn’t be where they were. He had 20 points on 7-11 shooting and was the Nets’ leading scorer for most of the game. He also had 2 huge 3’s right at the start of the 4th to cut a 7-point Dallas lead to just 1. There would have been no late heroics in this game if not for Marcus Thornton.
Andray Blatche: F
Blatche was awful tonight. Got horribly outplayed by Dalembert, couldn’t get a rebound, not even a defensive rebound, and took some bad shots.
The Nets have another road game tomorrow night when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans. Hopefully the Nets won’t be tired after playing an overtime game tonight. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.
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