Joe Johnson's late game heroics lead to Nets 107-104 victory in Dallas

The Nets headed into Dallas Sunday night feeling great about their recent success. They were riding a three-game win streak, coming off a big victory at home against the Boston Celtics. The win made the Nets winners of 11 straight at home, and more importantly, 1.5 game(s) back of the division leading, Toronto Raptors.

Sunday's game against the Mavericks also started the Nets three-game road-trip, which was expected to be tough with their apparent struggles on the road, standing at 13-20 when traveling away from the Barclays Center. The last matchup between the two teams was about as close as it gets, resulting in a Nets victory, 107-106, behind Mirza Teletovic's 34 points.

Once again, Kevin Garnett was out again due to back spasms, missing his 12th straight game.

However, the offense was clicking, especially in the second half, and behind the late game heroics of Joe Johnson, the Nets made a huge comeback to defeat the Mavericks, 107-104. Johnson led all Nets scorers with 21 points, helping Brooklyn to notch their fourth straight win.

Similar to the last time these two teams played, the Nets got off to a subpar start. They opened up the first 12 minutes of the game shooting 5-20 from the field, while the Mavericks were 9-18.

The score was 29-15 in favor of Dallas, as it looked like it would be a long night ahead for the Nets. After an early injury to Jose Calderon, a familiar face within the Nets organization, Devin Harris came off the bench and scored nine points.

Within the first few minutes of the second quarter, Andrei Kirilenko tweaked his ankle and came out of the game. He did not return for the rest of the game.

Following the injury to Kirilenko, the Nets went on a little run behind Marcus Thornton. He scored three consecutive buckets, leading to a 10-2 run to start the quarter, 31-25 lead for Dallas. Sure it was early, but it set the tempo for the rest of the quarter, as the Nets kept creeping their way back into the game.

Despite the horrid 36% shooting from Brooklyn, they found themselves down just 48-41. Considering how bad the offense looked, a seven point deficit is definitely acceptable.

As for Dallas, after finishing the first quarter shooting 60% from the field, they finished the half at 40%. The Nets held them to just 19 points in the second quarter, while limiting Dirk Nowitzki to just four points in 17 minutes of action. Devin Harris who was held scoreless in the second quarter, still led all scorers with nine points. Marcus Thornton matched the game-high as well, with nine of his own.

Quick first half stats: Behind Marcus Thornton & Mirza Teletovic, the Nets bench combined for 20 of the 41 points scored in the first half. Surprisingly enough, Andray Blatche only contributed three points after getting in early foul trouble.

The first few minutes were ugly for Brooklyn. Samuel Dalembert managed to block four Nets shots in the span of three possessions, leading to a 9-2 start for the Mavericks. Dalembert finished the quarter with a total of six blocks and 12 rebounds. He was killing the Nets down low.

Along with Dalembert hurting the Nets, Monta Ellis was hot the entire third quarter. He emerged as the leading scorer heading into the fourth with 18 points on 6-11 shooting.

Poor interior defense and poor shooting led to a 72-65 Nets deficit after three quarters of play. Just when this game looked to be getting out of hand, the Nets finished the quarter on a 8-2 run, yet again creeping their way back into the game.

Marcus Thornton aka "the microwave" because of how fast he heats up, sure lived up to that nickname in this one. One minute into the fourth quarter, Thornton scored six quick points, eventually leading to the Nets first lead since 8-7 early in the first quarter.

The hot play of Thornton led to a big 22-5 run for Brooklyn, 79-75 lead with seven minutes remaining. One thing we've seen with this 2014 Brooklyn team: They never quit.

Apparently, neither do the Dallas Mavericks. The Nets struggled to get their offense going in the late stages of the game, but with one minute remaining they were down 89-87. Andray Blatche struggled to box out Dalembert, which led to two huge free throws with 44 seconds remaining to put the Mavericks up two possessions.

With nine seconds left, the clutchest player in the NBA, Joe Johnson drove straight to the hoop tying the ball game at 91. On the other end, Monta Ellis took a deep three, leading to a miss and some free basketball in Dallas!

Overtime got started on a good note for the Nets. After a couple of Joe Johnson buckets, the Nets held a 98-95 lead, following up with a steal-and-score from Shaun Livingston, putting Brooklyn up 100-95 with two minutes remaining.

Another defensive stop, led to a three pointer from Deron Williams giving the Nets a 103-95 lead. It looked like the game was over, but Monta Ellis kept the game alive. The Mavericks cut the deficit to one with five seconds remaining.

Paul Pierce stepped up to the line and knocked a pair of free throws down to put the Nets up three. The Mavericks were out of timeouts, were forced to push the ball up court and tie the game with a three pointer. Monta Ellis was able to get a shot up, but just to see the ball bang off the back iron, and lead to a big comeback victory for the Nets.

Final score: Nets 107, Mavericks 104.

Joe Johnson led all Nets with 22 points. Marcus Thornton chipped in 20 off the bench. For the Mavericks, Monta Ellis led all scorers with 32 points on an efficient 9-19 shooting. The real star for the Mavericks was Samuel Dalembert who finished with 11 points, seven blocked shots, and 15 rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki was a non-factor in this one. He scored just 10 points on 2-12 shooting. Jason Kidd made it a mission to have his guys hound Nowitzki all night.

The Nets are now winners of four straight with a record of 37-31. They trail just one game back of the fourth seed, Chicago Bulls.

The Nets will travel to New Orleans Monday, where they face off against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.

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