Johnson’s late jumper sends Nets past Thunder

Updated: January 3, 2014

Oklahoma City, OK ( – Joe Johnson dribbled behind his back
and knocked down the game-winner.

His Brooklyn Nets teammates were on the court to celebrate.

Johnson’s buzzer-beater lifted the Nets to a 95-93 win over the Oklahoma City
Thunder on Thursday after they had trailed by as many as 16 points.

The win came two days after the Nets were embarrassed two ways in a loss to
San Antonio. They were blown out 113-92 and coach Jason Kidd was forced to
call a timeout with 0.2 seconds left because his players had left the court
already, thinking the game was over.

Everyone stuck around to see Johnson, guarded by Thunder big man Serge Ibaka
on the high left side, make some room for himself with his behind-the-back
dribble and knock down the shot from the top of the key.

“Coach drew up the play in the huddle and the rest his history,” Johnson said.

Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 29 points and Paul Pierce scored 18. Both
players keyed a 14-0 run near the end of the game that pulled the Nets out of
a 10-point hole late and led them to only their second win in eight games.

The Thunder, who had won seven of the last eight meetings between the teams,
coughed up a 16-point lead for the second time in a row. They led big against
Portland on New Year’s Eve and lost 98-94.

“That’s tough to swallow, coming at the buzzer like that — especially being
up by so many points,” said Kevin Durant, who led the Thunder with 24 points.

The Thunder are 1-3 in their last four games at home after starting 13-0.

Their only other back-to-back losses this season came Nov. 13 and 14 to the
Clippers and Warriors.

“We have to do a better job of protecting leads,” said Thunder coach Scott
Brooks. “Especially on our home floor. We worked hard enough to get a 16-point
lead and then we made a lot of mental mistakes that can be corrected.”

Pierce hit a 3-pointer, then a fallaway shot on the right side during a key
stretch of Brooklyn’s late-game run. Williams made a 3 and a jumper from the
left side that gave the Nets a 93-89 lead.

The Thunder showed fight at the end, with Durant and Ibaka making shots to tie
the game. Ibaka’s bank-shot with 5.8 seconds left tied the game and set up
Johnson’s heroics at the other end.

Earlier, Williams hit consecutive 3s to cap a 9-0 run in the third quarter
that got the Nets within seven points after they were down by 16. Later, Derek
Fisher scored a couple baskets in a row and Jeremy Lamb drained a 3 to key an
11-2 burst that put the Thunder back up by 16. They led 77-66 going into the
fourth quarter.

The Nets shot better than 55 percent in the first quarter for a 29-26 lead —
but their hot hand went cold.

They shot under 18 percent in the second and the Thunder shot better than 61
percent to take control. Ibaka scored four points and *Durant knocked down a 3
during a 12-0 run in the middle of the quarter that gave Oklahoma City a 13-
point lead.

The advantage reached as high as 16 and was 59-44 at halftime behind 15 points
from Durant and 52.5 percent shooting.

Game Notes

Brooklyn snapped a four-game road losing streak … The Thunder are at
Minnesota on Saturday night … The Nets are home vs. Cleveland on Saturday.