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Nets fall to Mavericks in OT thriller, 119-118

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. --  Fans chanted, "Where is Deron?" at the beginning of the game, but at the end of the night, the larger question was "Where is Bojan?"

Williams DIDN'T play, but JJ Barea lit the Nets up for a career high 32 points and 11 assists, owning the paint.

In what was supposed to be Deron Williams' big return to Brooklyn, the former Net sat out with a hamstring injury. His team, behind Barea, still got the dirty work done without him, defeating the Nets 119-118 in an overtime thriller.

Dallas was cooking early. They nailed 10 of their first 13 three pointers with four coming from JJ Barea, whom scored 20 of his 32 points in the first half. The Mavs, however, finished 6-of-21 in the second half from three.

The Mavericks led by double digits for most of the first half and ran it up to 16, but the Nets fought back and jumped out on a 28-9 run, outscored Dallas 34-17 and took a 10-point lead in the third quarter. It was their first lead since 2-0.

The run was behind the lead of Joe Johnson, who scored 10 points in the quarter and two huge threes from Bojan Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic scored 17 points on the night and hit a Nets season-high FIVE three-pointers without a miss Still, despite that, he played only 1:16 in the fourth quarter as the Nets tried to hang on to a lead created during a 34-point third quarrter. Why? "Coach's decision," said Lionel Hollins when asked in a bizarre post-game interview that left many wondering what Bogdanovic had or hadn't done to warrant benching.

After a back-and-forth fourth, the Mavericks came storming back and took the lead 108-105 with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth. But then, Thaddeus Young nailed his second three of the season and blocked JJ Barea on the potential game-winning shot.

In overtime, the game became a three-point shootout until the very end. Following a Dirk Nowitzki bucket, the Mavs went up by one point with 19 seconds, Nets ball.

So what do the Nets do out of the timeout in desperate times? They go with Jarrett Jack hero ball. It failed and the Nets fell to 8-21 despite one heck of an effort.

But still, no such thing as moral victories.Then came post-game.  In a head-scratcher of the first degree, Hollins declined to discuss why Bogdanovic wasn't in the game at the end, after he had shot 5-of-5 from downtown ... and Dallas was running a zone.

Here's the full exchange...

"Well, I could just say coach’s decision, which it was. And I’ll just leave it at that."

He was asked again and said "I don't want to talk about it" and then walked off.

Here's the video...

It's almost expected at this point that Young winds up with a double-double. He notched his 15th of the season with 29 points, 10 rebounds and four steals on 10-of-15 shooting. He did most of the heavy lifting for Brook Lopez, who had a quiet night with 13 points.

Still, the Nets outscored the Mavs 58-40 inside the paint. They also dished out 32 assists and committed only 11 turnovers. They also nailed 10 three-pointers on the night, five coming off the hands of Bogdanovic.

Tip ins: Shane Larkin returned to action after missing four games after suffering a concussion at practice. He was solid all night with seven points off the bench. Not to mention, he played a huge role in containing JJ Barea in the second half.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check them out at Mavs Moneyball.