Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/7/14

Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson (2) drives past Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) during second-half action at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday, November 18, 2009. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT) Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

After a rocky December that saw the Brooklyn Nets go 5-11, and fire coach Avery Johnson in the process, the Nets started the New Year with 3 wins, dropping Oklahoma City 110-93 in OKC, holding off lowly Washington 115-113 in 2 OT, and scorching the Kings, 113-93 last night. This moves the Nets to 3-0 in the New Year, and more importantly, 5-1 under interim coach PJ Carlesimo, with the lone loss coming New Year’s Eve to San Antonio. The firing of Avery Johnson has definitely given this team a spark, as they have won 5 of 6, and 3 in a row for the first time since mid-November. They have done it with dominating offense and spectacular defense. They have allowed 93 points in regulation each of their past 3 games. The Washington game ended with a 4th quarter score of 93-93, so even though they scored 113 against the Nets, it took 2OT for the Wizards to get there. Joe Johnson played a big part in the Nets’ recent success. In the OKC game, the Nets rattled the Thunder so much that Kevin Durant had his first career ejection in the game, as the Nets frustrated the Thunder all night, and snapped the Thunder’s 12-game home winning streak. Joe Johnson led the way with 33 points, by far his best effort of the season to date, and Deron Williams added 19 points and 13 assists as the talented backcourt is now performing well since the departure of Avery Johnson. Brook Lopez added 25. The Nets followed that game with a surprisingly much tougher win against the 4-win Washington Wizards. The Brooklyn Nets trailed early, going down 30-20 after one quarter, and spent the entire game battling back. They would take a 93-91 lead with 3 seconds remaining in regulation on a Brook Lopez tip-in of a Deron Williams miss, but Washington would answer to force OT. Then Washington appeared to be in total control, bolting out to a 101-93 lead early in the OT, but the Nets battled back again, spurring an 11-0 run to take a 104-101 lead with mere seconds left in the first overtime period. But Brandon Beal would force double OT, hitting on a 3 to tie the game at 104-104. The second overtime period would be a seesaw battle, and the Nets would ultimately get a game-winning jumper from Joe Johnson with 0.7 seconds remaining to make it 115-113. The Nets would hold off the Wizards on their final shot attempt, escaping Washington with a gritty win. Brook Lopez and Deron Williams both notched double-doubles, with Lopez getting 27 points and gathering 13 boards, while Deron Williams scored 24 and dished 10 dimes. Joe Johnson added 18, but his only bucket after the 4th quarter was the game winner. Notoriously, Brooklyn has trouble with back-to-back games, and without a day between their game with Washington and their home tilt with Sacramento, the Nets had to try to find a way to get an elusive victory in the second game of the back-to-back. But the Nets used all of the momentum gained from their OKC and Washington victories to spur them to victory in this one. They led most of the game, and for most of it, they were ahead by double digits. In fact, the starters rested most of the 4th quarter as the game was well decided before then. Andray Blatche had 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Blatche was one of four Nets to have 15 points. MarShon Brooks, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams also hit that mark. Rookie Mirza Teletovic added 14 points, and Brook Lopez added 18. Kris Humphries registered a DNP due to injury, and Reggie Evans took over in the starting lineup, snaring 12 rebounds. The Nets have improved to 19-15, and are climbing back up the Eastern Conference standings, sitting right now in 6th place, one half game behind Chicago for 5th, and 2 games behind Atlanta for 3rd. The Nets currently sit 4.5 games back of the Knicks in the division, and the same differential separates the Nets from Miami at the top of the Eastern Conference. For Brooklyn, their schedule continues to be light this month, as their next game isn’t until Tuesday at Philadelphia, who has been struggling as of late. Later this month, the schedule gets tougher, as Joe Johnson returns to Atlanta for his first game there as a Net, and the Nets also play their final game of the regular season against the Knicks in a couple of weeks. Their next few games shake out as follows: 1/8 @ Philadelphia 1/11 vs Phoenix 1/13 vs Indiana 1/15 vs Toronto 1/16 @ Atlanta 1/18 vs Atlanta It’ll be interesting to see how the next few games play out, but the crucial part are the 2 games against Atlanta. That could propel the Nets back to 3rd in the East. Right now, they have a lot of momentum, and a pretty favorable schedule.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

JR Smith: Lack of partying in Cleveland is better than NY

Tom Brady admits he has a cold

Paul Pierce: Computers to blame for lack of NBA trash talk

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Darrelle Revis: I don’t feel sorry for Jets fans

A recent history of Super Bowl injury hullabaloo

DeflateGate football could fetch $50K at auction

Father and son allegedly attack coach over playing time

The AFC North will regress in 2015

Doug Baldwin bringing 'sunblock' to Revis Island

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

Ten worst teams to ever play in a Super Bowl

Marshawn's new stiff arm to media: You know why I'm here

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Keys to victory for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX

Keys to victory for the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Grandpa: Marshawn would retire rather than deal with media

Ten best teams that didn't make the Super Bowl

Ranking the NBA’s Coach of the Year candidates

WATCH: Zach Parise picks up his tooth off the ice

Crosby's name misspelled as 'Sindey' on Penguins program

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.