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Brooklyn Nets ride D-Will to end 'Long and Winding' road-trip with 104-94 victory in Dallas

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

All that happened with the Brooklyn Nets during this eight-game trip was quickly forgotten, if not forgiven, Saturday night following a 104-94 victory vs. the Dallas Mavericks. The win comes in the eighth and final game of the trip, one in which they finished 3-5 and looked like a rejuvenated group, particularly in the five game stretch that began after the All-Star Break.

The Nets matched their franchise-record fourth straight win in Dallas, their longest active road winning streak against any opponent. Maybe D-Will has something to do with that.

Deron Williams turned a four-point deficit into a 10-point lead between halftime and when he checked out at the 2:10 mark of the third quarter. It was just the jolt the Nets needed. Deron scored 12 points in the third quarter and notched 25 points on the night -- a game-high and near season-high from the former Dallas native. IF, IF he continues to play this way, the Nets should have no problem winning games down the stretch.

Before turning it on vs. Dallas, he had been 0-for-10 from three since the All-Star break. In this one, he nailed 4-of-6 vs. Dallas and helped the Nets shoot 10-of-23 (43.5%) from three on the night.

He was one of the Nets Rick Carlisle referred to post-game. "This team tonight is a damn good basketball team. They've got a lot of really good players," said the Dallas coach.

Lionel Hollins agreed. "We executed better. Got stops and played extremely well, a good road trip. We're strong mentally," he said post-game.

The Nets took over the game in the third. They went on a 21-8 run through the first six minutes of the quarter to give them their largest lead of the night at 12. They outscored the Mavericks 35-21 in the quarter and led by double-digits heading into the fourth.

They led for most of the fourth, but Dallas wouldn't go down easily. The Nets could've fallen over as they had vs. Houston, but instead, they rallied behind eight-fourth quarter points from Joe Johnson. Despite being held scoreless in the first half, Joe 'Jesus' scored 15 in the second half and nailed two clutch three-pointers in the fourth quarter to put Brooklyn up 12. Dallas cut the deficit down to five, but Jarrett Jack put home a dagger tear-drop to send the Nets up nine with 53 seconds left.

The two three-pointers made Joe Johnson only the fifth player in Nets' history to nail 400-three pointers, joining Deron Williams, Kerry Kittles, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd. All of them, of course, played more than three years with the club. Joe finished the night with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Things were a bit different at the end compared to Friday night's late loss in Houston. For starters, Thaddeus Young finished the game on the court and delivered. He put the Nets up seven with under two minutes remaining and finished the game with 16 points, eight rebounds and one block in 30 minutes of action. He shot 7-of-12 from the field.

The Nets have simply been a much better team since acquiring him.

They outscored the Mavs 46-36 in the paint and 17-6 in second chance points, two categories in which the Nets have been the NBA's top team since adding Young.

Another aspect that changed vs. Dallas: Mason Plumlee also closed out the game. Plumlee ended his night with 14 points, 10 rebounds and one block. Jarrett Jack -- like Friday night -- finished out the game, but didn't attempt any costly jumpers in this one. Jack delivered the dagger , then hit two free throws, finishing with 14 points off the bench.

Brooklyn did turn the ball over 15 times but shot 52% from the field and 43.5 percent from deep. The Nets are 10-1 this season when they hit better than 40 percent of their three's. They also out-rebounded Dallas, 48-37, with the absence of Tyson Chandler playing a major role in this statistic.

Dallas shot just 43% from the field and saw their primary contributions come from Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Monta Ellis finished with 12 points and five assists and Devin Harris with 12 points and five assists.

"It felt really good, man You know, we let two games slip away, really. The New Orleans one was questionable," said D-Will.

Markel Brown, who had another solid all around game with five points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 20 minutes, added, "Saw five guys out there executing in the game. We took advantage of opportunities."

The Nets will face off against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors Monday night in their first game at the Barclays Center since February 6th. They have regained the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

Quarter by quarter summary:

First quarter ... Deron Williams looked motivated to play in front of his hometown crowd to begin the game. He led the Nets' offense with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting and 2-of-2 from three. He missed 10 straight three's prior to tonight. The Nets shot 53% from the field, but allowed Dallas to shoot 52% and score 16 of their 26 points inside the paint. The score was 26-23 in favor of Dallas.

Second quarter ... The Nets got a big first half lift from Deron Williams (12 points, 5-7 FG), Mason Plumlee (11 points, 4-6 FG) and Jarrett Jack (8 points, 4-5 FG). Other than those three, zero other Nets scored higher than five points. Both teams continued to shoot well, the Nets -- 54%, Mavericks -- 50%, but Dallas scored 17 points off 11-Brooklyn turnovers to help grab a lead before half. Amar'e Stoudemire led the Mavs with nine points.

The score at the half: Mavs 51, Nets 47.

Third quarter ... Brooklyn jumped out to a 10-2 start to the quarter and regained a four-point lead. It was one of many runs for Brooklyn in the quarter. The run evaporated into a 21-8 advantage -- then 12-0 run -- to give them their largest lead of the night at 12. The Nets were led by Deron Williams, who scored 12 points in the third alone and had 24 total. As a team, the Nets were 5-of-9 from three in the third and 8-of-18 on the night. They led, 82-72, after Devin Harris nailed a half-court buzzer-beater, something Nets' fans are used to.

Fourth quarter ... Joe Johnson scored his 13th point of the second-half at a crucial point of the game to put Brooklyn up 12 again. The Mavericks were cutting into the deficit, but Joe -- who was held scoreless in the first half -- nailed his second three of the quarter. His clutchness is undeniable.

The Mavs cut the deficit down to five after a contested Dirk Nowitzki jumper, but Thaddeus Young answered on the other end to put Brooklyn back up seven with two minutes remaining. The Nets turned it into a nine-point lead after a Jarrett Jack floater with 53 seconds. The dagger.

Final score: Nets 104, Mavs 94.

Hey don't forget, with the Nets win, you get 50% off with the promo code NETSWIN at papajohns.com.

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