Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lightning Strikes Twice as Nets Topple Thunder in Unbelievable Comeback Win, 95-93

Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP
One year ago today, the Nets went into Oklahoma City and won. From then on, they went 32-18 and were the Eastern Conference's 4th seed in the playoffs.

Today, the Nets returned to Chesapeke Energy Arena and beat the Thunder, whom many consider to be the NBA's best team, by a score of 95-93 in a true thriller. This was a huge victory for a team that desperately needed it. After getting blown out in the previous two games, Brooklyn mounted a wild comeback in the fourth quarter.

This team stunned everyone tonight with their impressive second half play, which is usually atrocious. After giving up a 14-0 run to the Thunder in the second quarter, the Nets opened up the second half on a 9-0 run. Brooklyn trailed by as many as 16 in the third, but outscored OKC 51-34 in the second half.

Joe Johnson gets the highlight play of the game for his game winning shot as the clock expired, but Deron Williams deserves most of the credit – he kept Brooklyn in this game. Williams, who is playing hurt, was out to prove the haters (of which I admit to often being one) wrong tonight. He finished with an impressive line of 29 points, 4 assists, 5 steals while shooting 10-16 from the floor and 6-9 from behind the arc. A very solid game for Williams, who was averaging only 11 points over the Nets' previous three games.

If there was ever a time to turn this team around, it is right now. If there was ever a game to win to get the season going, it was this one. Plain and simple, the Nets took care of business tonight in the second half. This team, which so often just rolls over late in games, showed a ton of heart.

Their biggest struggle, though, is still playing 48 quality minutes of basketball. It seems like they always have one bad quarter, and tonight it was the second quarter. And 19 turnovers is never a good line – you're not going to win many games giving away the ball 19 times.

But for now, Nets fans can bask in the glory of this victory. They also have to be optimistic going forward: the Nets return home to Brooklyn for four straight home games, the first of which is against a reeling Cavs team.

You just don't beat a win like this. Take it from here, Chris Carrino:

Final Score: 95-93 Nets (!!!!)
Most Disappointing Stat of the Game: 19 turnovers. Not smart basketball for most of the game.
Promising Stat of the Game: A victory against what might be the NBA's best team.
Scariest Moment of the Game: The final two minutes. Edge of the seat stuff.

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