Nets 113, Bucks 111
NEW YORK -- It took nearly four years, but the Nets finally beat the Milwaukee Bucks and it took two last-second shots by Joe Johnson to do it.
Johnson's fall-away jumper from the top of the key gave Brooklyn a 113-111 victory at the Barclays Center, snapping a string of 13 consecutive losses to Milwaukee that dated back to 2009.
Johnson, who finished with 24 points, hit a 3-pointer with one second left in regulation to force the overtime.
Johnson's clutch shots ruined another sparkling performance by Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings, who led all scorers with 34 points. Jennings has scored 85 points in three games against the Nets this season.
In overtime, Keith Bogans' 3-pointer from the left arc tied the game at 111-111 for Brooklyn, setting the stage for Johnson's heroics.
The Nets trailed, 103-102, when Deron Williams was called for an elbow with seven seconds showing in the fourth, and Jennings followed with two free throws to give the Bucks a 105-103 edge with six seconds left. But Joe Johnson's 3-pointer tied the game at 105-105 with one second to go, forcing the extra session.
Ersan Ilyasova ended with 21 points and Monta Ellis had 18 for Milwaukee. Johnson paced the Nets with 22 and Brook Lopez and Williams dropped in 19 apiece for Brooklyn.
Deron Williams showed that his ankles were feeling just fine from the start of the game. The point guard came up with seven points, four assists and three rebounds in the opening quarter. Williams nailed a 3-pointer, converted a fast-break layup and then fed Gerard Wallace for two points in the middle of a 14-5 run that was capped by Joe Johnson's 3-pointer as Brooklyn took a 22-16 edge.
Williams and Lopez each had seven points and Johnson six in the first period when the Nets moved to a 31-24 lead.
The Nets led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, taking a 56-41 lead on a side jumper by Lopez with 2:29 showing in the first half. Brandon Jennings, who had 11 points in the first half, helped cut the Bucks' deficit to 56-49 with 55.4 seconds to go in the half.
But Williams sank two foul shots and then drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it a 61-51 Brooklyn lead at the break.
Jennings practically erased the Bucks' 10-point halftime deficit by himself in the third quarter. The Milwaukee guard dazzled the crowd with a double-crossover that shook Williams before he drained a 3-pointer that tied the game, 73-73, with 4:38 left in the third.
In the third, Jennings hit 6 of 8 shots from the floor, including two 3-pointers, as he scored 16 of his team's 30 points, giving Milwaukee an 81-80 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Williams and Bucks center Larry Sanders returned to their respective starting lineups in the first game after the All-Star break on Tuesday. Interim Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo chose his pre-game press conference to defend his often-criticized point guard, who was averaging 16.7 points and 7.6 assists entering the game. "Everybody else has a problem with Deron Williams," Carlesimo said. "I don't have a problem with Deron Williams. I think he's a great player. Whatever he is capable of doing, he's going to do, and that's great as far as I'm concerned." Williams missed the final two games before the break, both Nets victories, with inflamed ankles. Sanders, who leads the NBA with 3.2 blocks per game, missed the previous four games with a bad back, suffering the injury on Feb. 5 vs. the Nuggets. ... Samuel Dalembert posted three double-doubles in taking over for Sanders, averaging 11.7 points and 11 rebounds during that span. Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan didn't rule out using both Sanders and Dalembert at the same time. "It's nice to have two big bodies around the basket, and two great shot blockers," Boylan said. "Absolutely, that's a possibility. ... The Bucks came in riding a 13-game winning streak against the Nets, winning by an average of 15.3 points over that span.
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