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If there's a D-Will, there's a way: Nets knot up series, 120-115

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN -- Did you hear what Paul Pierce said about Deron Williams last week?

Yeah, well, so did Williams.

It may've saved the Brooklyn Nets season after Williams went off for 35 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals in the Nets' 120-115 Game 4 overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks. In the three games prior, Williams averaged six points with a grand total 18 points. It was reported Sunday that D-Will was dealing with severe knee tendinitis, but Monday, he clearly wasn't plagued by the injury.

Just a few games back, Deron Williams was the scapegoat for Brooklyn's woes. Now, he's the hero.

Williams scored eight straight points to cap off a 16-3 run, five point lead in the fourth. The Barclays Center was going absolute berserk. The only place to watch playoff basketball in New York.

"I had two points in Game 2, and we were right there," Williams said. "I thought we had chances to win the game. If I hit a couple of those shots, we probably would have won the game. I look at it both ways, where I was still getting people involved, still making an impact on the game but definitely hurting my team by not making open shots, not knocking down shots."

With 6.5 seconds, Williams missed the potential game-winning shot and we were headed to overtime. His magic ran out, but his hot night was still underway.

"We go into the game with a lot of respect for Deron Williams," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said on Williams. "Brooklyn was able to make a couple plays away from him down the stretch. A lot of respect for Deron Williams and what he is capable of."

The teams exchanged buckets for most of the overtime period, but the Nets went on a 5-0 run and held Atlanta scoreless for over a minute of play within the final minute of action.

The Nets were down two with 1:44 remaining, but Bojan Bogdanovic nailed a three-pointer, and then Thaddeus Young put home an and-one foul to increase the lead to three. Kyle Korver went on to miss three straight shots and the Nets were on their way to a huge, shocking victory.

So here we are. Despite all odds against the Nets, they took both games at home and tied the series 2-2. This team goes where D-Will takes them.

The win comes with Atlanta shooting 48% from the floor and 38% from three. Kyle Korver scored 16 points, but missed three crucial shots in the late stages of the game.The Hawks also grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and scored 60 points in the paint. They out-rebounded Brooklyn 55-40.

You look at those numbers and you wonder, how the heck did they lose?

Well, 18 turnovers certainly didn't help. It's been the theme of the series: turnovers lose basketball games, and the Nets turned the ball over just 10 times.

However, it was a combination of many things for Brooklyn. The ability to treasure offensive possessions was crucial, but the offensive spurts from the big-time players won them this game.

Brook Lopez was a beast yet again, going off for 26 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. The big fella has averaged over 19 points and 10 rebounds per game in the series. The Hawks have zero answers for him

Joe Johnson chipped in 17, while big-shot Bojan Bogdanovic scored 15, but his OT three-pointer was the biggest shot of the game. Bogdanovic has hit eight tree-pointers in the postseason. The other rookies in the playoffs have combined for just six.

The Nets are out to prove everybody wrong. A 38-44 team isn't talking, isn't walking, but rather running into Atlanta with all the momentum on their side. There's a reason the higher seeds didn't want to play Brooklyn, and this is exactly why.


Next up: The Nets and Hawks will play Game 5 in Atlanta this Wednesday. The game time will start at 7:00pm.

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For more on the Atlanta Hawks, check them out at Peachtree Hoops.