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Johnson's clutch shots lift Nets over Bucks in OT

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Associated Press
2/19/2013 11:03:26 PM
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NEW YORK -- Joe Johnson came through twice with big shots and helped the Brooklyn Nets end a long losing streak to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Johnson hit a tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter and then his buzzer-beating jumper at the end of overtime lifted the Nets to a 113-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Johnson, who finished with 24 points. "Regardless of the situation, whether it's regular season or playoffs, it's always a great feeling. And, just to see everybody kind of explode with excitement is probably the best feeling."

Brook Lopez and Deron Williams added 19 points each as the Nets snapped a 13-game skid against the Bucks dating back to March 30, 2009.

"The first game after (the All-Star break) is usually pretty sloppy," Williams said. "For us to get a win against a team that we lost 13 straight against is a good win for us."

The Nets were aware of their long losing streak but insist they weren't thinking about it during the game.

"(Coach P.J. Carlesimo) mentioned the streak before the game, but I don't think anybody took that out there with that on their mind," Brooklyn's Gerald Wallace said. "It wasn't anything about their streak. It was about us as team. It shows the fight we have."

Brandon Jennings scored 34 points to lead the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova had 21 points, Monta Ellis added 18 and Larry Sanders 14.

Luc Mbah a Moute had given the Bucks a 111-108 lead with 2:58 left in overtime. The Nets tied the game on Keith Bogans' 3-pointer with 1:02 left.

Jennings, who scored 23 points after halftime, saw his short jumper go in and out with 15 to go. After a Nets timeout, Johnson was intentionally fouled by Mbah a Moute with 5 seconds left. The Nets inbounded again and Johnson won the game with his foul line jumper over Mbah A Moute.

"Joe Johnson makes big shots," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "It wasn't a shock that Brooklyn went to him. We knew that's where they'd be looking. Luc played him tough and Joe just made a great shot."

Johnson sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in regulation.

"Joe has been doing this his whole career," Carlesimo said. "The other guys did a good job with the execution and putting us in a good position, particularly the 3 at the end of regulation."

The Bucks trailed 61-51 at halftime, but outscored the Nets 30-19 in the third quarter to take an 81-80 lead.

Ekpe Udoh gave Milwaukee its biggest lead, 87-82, with 9:57 left in the game. However, Brooklyn's 10-4 run capped by a long jumper from Andre Blatche gave the Nets a 92-91 lead with 6:24 left.

Blatche scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Sanders' tip-in of Jennings' missed layup attempt gave the Bucks a 103-102 lead with 10 seconds left in regulation. After Williams was called for an offensive foul with 7 seconds left, Jennings was fouled and made both free throws.

That set up Johnson's tying 3.

The Nets took a 56-41 lead -- their largest of the game -- on Lopez's jumper with 2:29 left in the first half.

The Nets led 31-24 after the first quarter, having made 7 of 8 free throws while the Bucks didn't attempt any.

"We've got to turn it on right from the very beginning," Boylan said. "We're not Oklahoma City or Miami or something like that. We've got to play hard for 48 minutes."

C.J. Watson added 11 points for Brooklyn.

NOTES: The Nets had lost seven straight at home to the Bucks. Their last victory on their home floor came on Feb. 3, 2009, by a score of 99-85. ... The Nets are 5-0 in overtime this season and are on a NBA-best 10-game winning streak in overtime games. ... The Bucks are now 27-17 all-time in games immediately following the All-Star break. ... The Nets improved to 18-8 under Carlesimo, the second-best start under any of their previous 21 coaches. Lawrence Frank's team started 19-6 in 2003-04.

Watson and Johnson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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