The Brooklyn Nets (37-31) increased their win streak to 4-games with a 107-104 victory in Dallas over the Mavericks (42-29) last night. This is their fifth straight win against a Western Conference opponent.
Nets coach Jason Kidd returned to the city where he began his career, and where he won his first and only ring in 2011. He played a vital role on that championship winning team, not only as a player, but also as a coach in between the lines. He also celebrated his 41st birthday, and after the win, the Nets players dumped ice water on him in the locker room.
Dallas held their largest lead of 14 points in the first quarter and midway through the third, but they couldn’t hold onto the lead. The Nets went on a ferocious 14-0 run which gave them a one-point lead -- the run was capped off by two made free throws from Deron Williams. During the run, Marcus Thornton hit consecutive 3-pointers to bring the Nets to within a point.
In the closing seconds of the game, Dirk Nowitzki -- who had a terrible game -- air-balled a fadeaway jumper. Afterwards, Joe Johnson hit a driving lay up to tie the game at 91. Monta Ellis had a chance to win the game in regulation, but missed on his deep 3-point attempt.
Johnson opened up the scoring in overtime with a 3-pointer to give the Nets a 96-93 lead. Nowitzki responded with a jumper, then Johnson hit two free throws to regain the three-point advantage for the Nets.
Later in overtime, Shaun Livingston stepped into the passing lane of Shawn Marion’s pass and drove the length of the court for a lay up to give the Nets a 100-95 lead, their largest lead of the game. The Mavericks couldn’t score enough to keep up, and the Nets held on to a tough fought win.
Brooklyn, now finds themselves two games ahead of the Washington Wizards in the 5th spot. The Chicago Bulls, currently, are a game ahead for the 4th spot.
Key Stats: Joe Johnson led the Nets with 22 points and 5 rebounds. Marcus Thornton had 20 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. Deron Williams and Paul Pierce had 15 points a piece. Shaun Livingston finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 32 points. Samuel Dalembert, Shawn Marion, and Vince Carter each finished with 12 points -- Dalembert also had a season-high 15 rebounds and 7 blocks, Carter also had 10 rebounds, and Marion also had 6 rebounds. Devin Harris finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki had 10 points off of 2-12 shooting, he also had 8 rebounds.
Key Notes: Andrei Kirilenko left mid-game due to a mild left ankle sprain and didn’t return. Kevin Garnett is still out due to injury.