Outmanned and Outgunned, Nets Almost Upset the Mavericks, Losing 96-88 in OT

BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Nets went into Monday night’s game against the high-octane Dallas Mavericks without Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams.

They lost shooting guard Sergey Karasev to a groin injury early in the fourth quarter.

But they had Joe Johnson and that was almost enough to pull an upset of one of the best teams in the Western Conference and the highest scoring team in the NBA.

Trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter, the undermanned and outgunned Nets gave the fans in Barclays Center a playoff atmosphere by rallying to force overtime. Dallas got two clutch three-pointers from Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki to claim a 96-88 win.

Johnson, who finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, had a chance to win it in regulation. His long jump shot over Richard Jefferson didn’t drop at the buzzer.

The Nets lost their second straight and dropped to 16-18. The Mavericks won their sixth straight to improve to 26-10.

KEY STAT I: The Nets were 3 for 25 on three-pointers. The Mavs were 10 of 27. It’s hard to win a game when you’ve been outscored 30-9 from behind the arc.

KEY STAT II: The Mavericks had 14 offensive rebounds, including eight by Tyson Chandler. The 14 offensive boards led to 15 second-chance points. The Nets had just five second-chance points.

KEY STRETCH: The Nets trailed 90-88 in OT after Johnson put in a runner with 2:10 left. But Chandler Parsons hit a 3 late in the shot clock to push the Mavs’ lead to 93-88. After a Mirza Teletovic miss, Chandler grabbed two of his eight offensive rebounds, the last leading to Nowitzki’s 3 with 34.8 left that sealed the Dallas win.

KEY PLAY I: Johnson’s 3 with 2:37 left brought the Nets to within 80-77.

KEY PLAY II: Johnson’s 3 with 1:42 left tied the score at 80-80.

KEY PLAY III: Johnson’s block on Parsons with 1:20 left gave the Nets the ball.

KEY PLAY IV: Jarrett Jack’s jumper with 26.6 seconds left gave the Nets an 82-80 lead.

KEY PLAY V: Johnson’s jumper at the buzzer didn’t drop.

NETS GAINS: Brook Lopez, starting in place of Garnett, who got the night off, scored 22 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots.

TALK: Lionel Hollins on Johnson’s fearlessness in taking the last shot: “The thing about Joe is, he is not afraid to take them.”

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