NEW YORK -- Why Paul? Why? The Brooklyn Nets rallied back from a 27-point deficit Wednesday night. But Paul Pierce's careless pass at midcourt was intercepted by Wesley Johnson, who broke a 92-all tie with a breakaway dunk with 1:33 left, and the Los Angeles Lakers went on to beat the Nets 99-94 at Barclays Center.
What it means: The Nets played their most inspired basketball of the season down the stretch. Led by Mirza Teletovic -- yes, Mirza -- Brooklyn nearly pulled off what would have been a tremendous come-from-behind victory. But Pierce's gaffe proved costly. And this one most definitely will sting. The Nets (4-11) have now lost nine of their past 11 games, and have yet to win consecutive games this season. The Lakers have now beaten the Nets 11 straight times. It was the first time the Nets have lost a game this season when winning the first quarter (4-1).
Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett both missed chances to tie in the final minute. Pierce missed a 3-pointer that would’ve tied the game in the final second. Teletovic finished with a career-high 17 points -- 14 after the break. Pierce had all 12 of his points in the second half but shot 4-for-17. Johnson had 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting. Alan Anderson, who handled point guard duties late, finished with 14. The Nets shot just 37.3 percent from the field and went 11-for-30 from 3-point range.
Same old injuries: Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) all missed the game again to injury. They are still being listed as day to day. Kobe Bryant remains out for the Lakers. Andray Blatche came up limping after being fouled while driving to the basket late in the third quarter. Blatche stayed in the game, but did not play in the fourth.
Hello, old friend: Former Net Jordan Farmar hit three consecutive 3-pointers to open the second quarter, giving the Lakers a 43-18 lead. After nailing his third triple, Farmar fired some trash talk at Brooklyn’s bench.
Bad start: The Nets were outscored 34-18 in the first quarter. They had six turnovers in the quarter and allowed the Lakers to shoot 65 percent.
Huh? Shaun Livingston attempted his first 3 since Feb. 17, 2012. He missed.