For the second time this season, the Nets threw out their playbook and went Iso Joe with the score tied and time winding down in double overtime.
And for the second time this season, Joe Johnson made them look like geniuses for doing so.
Johnson’s 18-foot pull-up jumper from the right wing with 0.7 seconds left in double OT allowed the Nets to prevail with a 115-113 victory over the lowly Wizards on Friday night at the Verizon Center. The $89 million shooting guard also beat the Pistons at the buzzer in the second extra session on Dec. 14.
“He’s a helluva player, and he made a big play,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, who improved to 4-1 since taking over for the recently fired Avery Johnson, told reporters in D.C.
“Every time I caught the ball in these two overtimes, man, they were double-teaming me quick,” Johnson told YES Network sideline reporter Sarah Kustok. “I saw the double-team coming. I just tried to take a hard dribble to get the shot up.”
In many respects, the Nets (18-15) didn’t deserve to beat the NBA’s worst team on Friday. They trailed the Wizards (4-27) by as many as 14 in the first half and didn’t take their first lead until the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter. Then Washington scored the first eight points of the first overtime only to give up 11 straight to Brooklyn before Bradley Beal’s 3-pointer extended what was for the most part an unwatchable game.
Overall, the Wizards -- the league’s lowest-scoring team coming in -- shot 47.3 percent from the field and went 9-for-18 from downtown. Meanwhile, the Nets turned the ball over 20 times and went just 1-for-11 from 3-point range after halftime.
“I don’t want to say we were lucky. I’d say we were fortunate,” Carlesimo said.
As a result, the Nets, who return home to play the Kings on Saturday night, improved to 11-0 against sub-.500 teams and were able to keep the momentum they gained in their biggest victory of the season Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.
Brook Lopez turned the ball over seven times but scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked 3 shots. Deron Williams overcame an 0-for-9 stretch in the fourth quarter and first OT to notch 24 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Johnson added 18 points -- including the two biggest of them all. Andray Blatche (13 points, 12 rebounds, season-high 4 steals) was booed all game long, but as a result of Johnson's shot, he ended up leaving a winner in his first game against his former team.