Nets win on Johnson's buzzer beater
Joe Johnson was too tired to celebrate his game-winning shot.
Moments after his Brooklyn Nets teammates ran out onto the court to congratulate him following their 100-98 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, Johnson could only shake his head at scoring only 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting.
But two of those shots were game-changers. The first, a short floater with 30 seconds left, sent the game into overtime. The second, a close-range teardrop, fell in as time expired.
Johnson grabbed a loose ball tipped out to him by teammate Kevin Garnett and glided up the court as the clock ran down in overtime.
"I knew I didn't have to take a rushed shot," Johnson said. "I just took my time coming up the court and got in the paint and made a play. I hesitated to make them (defenders) think I was going to pull up at the 3-point line.
"I had to get as close as I could. Obviously, I couldn't make a shot to save my life tonight."
Brook Lopez scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half and overtime and added seven rebounds and three blocked shots to help the Nets pick up their first road win of the season.
The Suns had tied the game on a lob to P.J. Tucker for a dunk with 57 seconds left in overtime. Tucker scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Suns, who had been undefeated at home in four previous games.
Tucker's 3-pointer out of the right corner with 39.1 seconds left in regulation gave the Suns a 92-90 lead, but Johnson tied it seconds later with his floater.
Goran Dragic led five Suns in double figures with 19 points.
The Nets lost point guard Deron Williams with 7:26 to play in the first quarter when he went down in a heap driving to the basket. Williams hopped off the court with what was determined to be a sprained left ankle and did not return.
X-rays were negative, and the team did not give a timetable for Williams' return.
"I landed on (teammate Mason) Plumlee's foot," Williams said. "All my weight was on it (the ankle). It's frustrating. No words can describe it. Sick of getting injured, sick of being hurt. I just want to be healthy and help my team."
Williams had ankle problems in the preseason.
The first quarter saw the Suns lead by as many as 12 as the Nets shot 25 percent from the field.
Phoenix took its largest lead of the game at 46-32 with 3:47 to go in the second quarter after Gerald Green hit a free throw. Guard Eric Bledsoe scored all 13 of his first-half points in the quarter for the Suns.
The Nets began to chip away. Shaun Livingston, Williams' replacement at the point, scored the last six points of the first half and the Nets cut the Suns' lead to 50-46 at halftime.
Livingston finished with a season high 18 points and six assists.
"Just not offensively but defensively, he was big for us," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "You tip your hat to him."
The Nets stayed hot in the third quarter, scoring the first 16 points. Lopez, with only two points at the break, had for 10 in the first six-plus minutes of the third. His layup off a pass from Livingston made the score 62-50 for Brooklyn and prompted a Phoenix timeout.
"When teams get tough like that, you have to buckle down," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "That's when other teams smell blood. They got a run going, then they turned up the defense."
The Suns never led by more than four in the fourth quarter, and Johnson's driving layup with 5:21 to play gave the Nets an 84-83 lead.
"They are more experienced than us, and they made the tough shot and we didn't," Dragic said. "But that's part of the sport."
NOTES: Five Nets and three Suns are on the NBA All-Star ballot: Johnson, Williams, Garnett, Lopez and Paul Pierce (Friday's starting five for Brooklyn); and Bledsoe, Dragic and Markieff Morris for the Suns. ... The Suns broke out their road purple jerseys for the game, while the Nets wore their typical home whites. . The game marked the first time brothers Miles and Mason Plumlee played against each other at the professional level. Miles Plumlee starts at center for Phoenix and Mason Plumlee entered the game for the first time late in the first quarter for Brooklyn. . Former NFL star Terrell Owens attended the game, sitting courtside a few seats down from the Suns' bench. He drew a few boos when he was introduced to the crowd.