HOUSTON — Nearly a year later, Kenny Atkinson calls it “an incredible, resilient, crazy win.”
It was the absolutely wild 145-142 overtime victory in Houston on Jan. 16 in which the Nets gave up 58 points to James Harden and trailed by 14 points with five minutes to go in regulation, but came back to win.
A little over a month earlier, the Nets had been stalled with an 8-18 record. The win in Houston was their 15th in 20 games and it evened their record at 23 wins and 23 losses. It came at a spot in the schedule that looked dangerous a few weeks earlier — a road game at the eventual champion Raptors, followed by the Celtics at home and then a two-game road trip to Houston and Orlando, playoff teams all.
It could have short-circuited the Brooklyn revival. Instead, it propelled it. After losing in Toronto, the Nets beat Boston at home, then swept the Rockets and Magic — this time coming back from 19 down in the first half — on the way to a six-game win streak.
Let’s take a look back at a landmark win powered by Spencer Dinwiddie’s 33 points, including 16 in the final five minutes of regulation with three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds.
HALFTIME: NETS 62, ROCKETS 54
Jarrett Allen, who would go on to post his first career 20/20 game with 20 points and 24 rebounds, had a double-double by halftime with 10 and 10. The Nets led by as many as 15 in the first half before the Rockets came back to take a 46-45 lead. A 13-2 run propelled Brooklyn to its halftime lead. But the Rockets outscored them 40-23 in the third quarter to take the lead.
4:58: ROCKETS 115, NETS 103
With five minutes to go, Houston is up 14 before a Dinwiddie layup, the start of a 30-16 run to close regulation.
:26: ROCKETS 128, NETS 125
The Rockets were still up by 11 with just over two minutes to go, but the Nets cut the lead to 127-122 on a Joe Harris free throw with 34 seconds remaining. P.J. Tucker makes 1-of-2 to make it 128-122 with 28 seconds left. After a Nets timeout advances the ball, Dinwiddie goes quickly, hitting a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left.
:21: ROCKETS 129, NETS 128
After Harden makes 1-of-2 for Houston with 25 seconds left, and after another Nets timeout, Dinwiddie hits another deep three, a 27-footer to bring Brooklyn within a point.
:08: NETS 131, ROCKETS 131
Harden’s two free throws put Houston up by three with 12 seconds left. Dinwiddie comes up the left side and pulls up from 28 feet to tie the game. Harden’s three at the buzzer misses and they go to overtime.
OT 1:12: ROCKETS 142, NETS 138
With Houston up seven, Treveon Graham hits a corner 3-pointer for the Nets.
OT :40: ROCKETS 142, NETS 140
Allen scores off a Dinwiddie feed and draws a foul. He misses the free throw, but Graham secures the offensive rebound.
OT :28: NETS 143, ROCKETS 142
After Graham keeps the possession alive, Dinwiddie scores and draws the foul, and his free throw puts the Nets in the lead. Houston’s Austin Rivers misses a three and Harris makes two free throws with a second left for a 145-142 lead. Houston’s Gerald Green is off the mark on a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Nets leave with the win, outscoring Houston 10-0 to close the game.