Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/15/12
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets managed to blow an early double-digit lead Friday, this time a 17-point second quarter advantage. But they somehow found a way to pull out a 107-105 win in double overtime over the visiting Detroit Pistons, thanks to the heroics of shooting guard Joe Johnson. Johnson, acquired in the offseason in a multi-player trade with the Atlanta Hawks, was back to his old self, scoring 27 points, including two huge shots in the second overtime, the second one coming from 19 feet out at the buzzer, giving the Nets the victory. Johnson, who had 23 points to lead the Nets to a win in Toronto on Wednesday night, first hit a floating jumper in the lane that gave the Nets a 105-103 lead with 26.1 seconds in the second overtime. But Kyle Singler had a rebound basket for the Pistons with 11 seconds left to tie the game a final time at 105-105. The Nets called time out and set up the play for Johnson. "It was no secret that we were going to give Joe the ball and ride his back tonight," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "Joe's really been in a good shooting rhythm lately. Our other guys were ready to shoot if the double team got to him, but he shot it before they could get there. Shots like this are what we're looking at from him." The victory enabled the Nets (13-9) to win for the second straight time after five losses. The win also snapped a four-game home losing streak. The Pistons fell to 7-18 overall and just 2-12 on the road. The two teams went back and forth through the fourth quarter and two overtimes. Detroit had chances to win the game in regulation and at the end of the first overtime, but misfired on both potential game-winners. "We were just one rebound away, one final play away," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "We came up short. They had the last word. We tried to double him (Johnson) but it happened so quick. He hit a very tough shot and we were a little slow in reacting." "I just wanted to get a good look at it," Johnson said. "Coach Johnson and the rest of the players are putting me in great position to get great shots. I had to come through and make the big shots. That's what I wanted to do at the end of the game. We might have struggled a bit offensively there for a while, but down the stretch, we came up big." Detroit scored the first three points of the second overtime to take a 103-100 lead, then the Nets got a driving basket from Gerald Wallace, who also scored 25 points, to slice the lead, setting up Johnson's first heroics. Wallace also had 10 rebounds, but none bigger than an offensive board late in the second overtime, where Wallace landed hard on his back, elbow and head. "That play was all Gerald Wallace," Frank said. "He made a great play, a great hustle play." The Nets also received 17 points from Deron Williams and 16 from Blatche before he fouled out in the first overtime. Brandon Knight scored 22 points and Rodney Stuckey added 19, eight of which came in the extra sessions, to pace the Pistons. Greg Monroe had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons and Tayshaun Prince had 12 points and 10 rebounds in vain. It marked the second straight home game that Brooklyn blew a 17-point lead. They blew a similar lead to the Knicks Tuesday night, but lost that game. Johnson went strong to the basket and hit a tough shot with 18.7 seconds left in the first overtime to tie the game 100-100. Stuckey had a good shot to win the game for the Pistons, but it clanked off the rim, setting up the second overtime heroics. Blatche knows how much the team needs Johnson. "When Joe starts hitting those shots, we all somehow come together," Blatche said. "He really makes a big difference. It also shows that we're learning to close out games and how to deal with adversity and continue to compete. This was a big win." The Nets welcomed back Brook Lopez, who played 23 minutes in his first game after missing seven with a sprained right foot. Lopez had nine points and four rebounds in his return. "When we have a bunch of guys clicking like that, we're tough to beat," Lopez said. "For me, it's just a matter of getting my timing back. I'm just happy to be back out there again." Notes: The Nets were 2-5 without Lopez in the lineup. When Lopez injured the foot, he was the Nets' leading scorer at 18.5 points per game. Nets coach Johnson said that, for the time being, Lopez's playing time will be restricted. ... Pistons coach Frank remains on top of the Nets' list for coaching wins with 225. Frank led the Nets to two Atlantic Division championships in 2004 and 2006. ... Frank is in his second season with the Pistons. ... Williams left the game with 1:41 in the first period after he was pushed from behind by Jason Maxiell. He limped off the court and was in obvious pain in his upper left leg when he hit the Nets' bench to receive attention from trainer Tim Walsh, but returned in the second quarter and played the remainder of the game.
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