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Nets Lose a Shootout, 119-118 in Overtime

The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks played a can’t-miss game on Wednesday.

Not because of the drama, though there was plenty of that with lead changes, hustle plays and a pulsating energy throughout Barclays Center, but because it felt like the teams literally could not miss. They slugged it out for four quarters and one overtime, but in a wild shootout, the Nets did not make the last shot, falling 119-118.

“It was a roller coaster,” said Jarrett Jack, who took the Nets’ final shot. “It was punch after punch, they just had one more punch than we did.”

Oh there were punches, as the offensive nature of the game was established early. The Mavericks shot 70.6% from the field (24-of-34) including 77% (10-of-13) from downtown in the first half. The Nets weren’t shooting at that clip – Lionel Hollins said he’s never seen a team shoot 77% on threes in a half – but they knocked down 49% (23-of-47), enough to keep them in the game, down 64-53 at the half.

If Dallas’ numbers appeared to be unsustainable, it’s because they were. The Mavericks offense turned into the proverbial pumpkin, shooting 37% from the field including 1-of-8 from three, as the Nets roared back in the third quarter. Brooklyn shot 15-of-23, blowing by the Mavericks 34-17 in the quarter (a season-high in points and point differential), taking an 87-81 lead into the fourth.

Neither teams numbers were as sexy in the fourth, but the quarter was defined by late lead changes and hustle plays. Brooklyn lost the lead with 4:30 to play, regained it on a Joe Johnson three with 2:03 to play, lost it with 12.4 on the clock before Thaddeus Young – who played a spectacular game – drained a three-pointer with 6.3 left. Young, who had 29 points and 10 boards, then blocked J.J Barea’s last-second attempt, making sure there would be overtime on Atlantic Ave.

“Just a tremendous effort,” Hollins said of Young. “He was just battling. That’s what I like and expect from the whole group and that’s what we got. His numbers stand out over other people, but I thought we got the efforts we needed and the extra efforts.”
“I was just trying to bring a lot of energy and a lot of intensity to the game,” Young said. “Just making everything tough.

Young continued to be (arguably) the game’s best player in OT. He grabbed an offensive rebound off Johnson’s jumper and gave the Nets an early lead. Wesley Matthews and Jack each drained a pair of three’s, as the teams traded leads again. Barea knocked down his fifth three of the game shortly after, capping off a game-high 32-point performance to put the Mavericks up one with 2:05 to play.

In a game characterized by scoring, the final two minutes only featured two baskets. Young stole a pass from Barea, wrestled the ball off the floor and eventually into the hands of Brook Lopez, who’s hook shot had the Nets up 118-117, but Dirk Nowitzki, who moved into sixth all-time in NBA scoring Wednesday, had the game-winning lay-up with 19.2 to play. Jack took the final shot with 3.6 seconds on the clock, but it didn’t drop and the Nets played the role of moral victor and hard-luck loser.

“We overcame all of that,” Hollins said referring to the Mavericks first half. “That was a heck of a basketball game. Everybody got their monies worth on that one. I was proud of our team the way we battled.”

“Somebody, unfortunately, had to lose and it was us.”

Young pointed out that there are no moral victories in his post-game interview, but said there was a lot of positives to draw on over the Nets past two games.

“There are some good things that we can definitely pull from the game. We just have to win basketball games. We have to bring the intensity that we had in the last two games to the next game and carry it over. If we keep playing like we’ve been playing, we’re going to win more games.”

The Nets are back in action on Saturday afternoon, when they host the Washington Wizards. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.

FREE THROWS… Bojan Bogdanovic set the Nets season high with five three-pointers Wednesday… Bogdanovic was perfect from long range, going 5-of-5… Joe Johnson and Jarrett Jack each had 13 points and five boards… Jack had a team-high eight assists… The Nets had a season-high 32 assists