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Johnson's game-winning jumper lifts Nets over Thunder

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The Canadian Press
1/2/2014 10:56:57 PM
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Joe Johnson hit a high-arching jumper as time expired to give the Brooklyn Nets a 95-93 comeback victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.

Johnson's game-winning shot capped an improbable rally from a 16-point second-half deficit for the Nets (11-21), led by a season-high 29 points from point guard Deron Williams.

Brooklyn trailed 77-61 late in the third quarter, but Williams scored 18 in the second half and helped set the stage for Johnson's last-second shot. Paul Pierce added 18 points for the Nets.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder (25-7) with 24 points. Oklahoma City was playing its fourth straight game without injured All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, who had surgery on his right knee Dec. 27.

The loss was the second straight for the Thunder, only the second time they've lost two in a row this season.

Brooklyn appeared finished at various points during the first half and even near the end of the third quarter when the Thunder went up 77-61 after a 3-pointer by Jeremy Lamb.

The Nets, however, had other plans -- going on a 14-0 run in the closing minutes to take a 93-89 lead. Pierce scored five points during the run, while Williams gave Brooklyn its first lead since the first half with a 3-pointer to go up 91-89.

Serge Ibaka, who finished with 10 points, tied the game at 93 for Oklahoma City with a basket with 5.8 seconds remaining.

Johnson then took a pass from Kevin Garnett on the other end, stepped back and connected on the game-winning shot from the top of the key. Brooklyn had lost two in a row and six of seven coming into the game.

The loss was the third in four games at home for the Thunder, who opened the season 13-0 at home.

Brooklyn, despite its struggles this season, was up 29-26 after the first quarter -- led by eight points from Williams. The Nets stayed close into the second quarter, trailing 38-37 after a 3-pointer by Mirza Teletovic.

Oklahoma City, now 14-3 at home this season, took control after that with a 14-1 run to go up 52-38. Ibaka had two fast-break baskets during the spurt and Durant added a pull-up 3 on the break.

Thabo Sefolosha capped the run with a jumper for the Thunder, who shot 52.5 per cent (21 of 40) in the first half. The guard also gave Oklahoma City its biggest lead of the half with a free throw to go up 59-43 late in the second quarter.

NOTES: Westbrook, out until after the All-Star break, was courtside during the game and was walking without crutches. ... Brooklyn scored five points in 0.9 seconds to end the third quarter, with Pierce hitting a jumper and Williams connecting on a 3 at the buzzer following a steal.

Joe Johnson (Photo: Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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