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JOE JOHNSON HITS GAME-WINNER, NETS WIN 105-104

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

JOE 'JESUS' HAS BEEN RESURRECTED AND IT'S A BEAUTIFUL THING.

During a season filled with plenty of bad news and so many losses, Monday served as an extremely nice getaway from the negative energy, especially following an ugly loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

After the atrocity that unfolded Saturday, the Nets thankfully redeemed themselves and defeated the Denver Nuggets, 105-104, on Joe Johnson's game-winning, buzzer-beating bank-shot from 2-3 feet behind the three-point line.

It's Joe Johnson's FIFTH game-winning buzzer-beater as a Brooklyn Net ... and his first since January 2014. He has seven in the last 10 seasons, the most of any active player.

He summed it up nicely.

"It was fun," Johnson said. "Obviously, we've had a tough season, but to get some excitement like that out of the game was exciting. I'm happy for the fans...

"The play wasn't designed for me, because we were only down two," he added. "It was designed to try to get Brook [Lopez] the ball in the paint and try to get a layup or easy deuce and go into overtime. But obviously, when I came up to the top of the key, I was wide open. (Inbounds passer) Markel Brown saw me, and I knew I only had like 1.3 seconds left, so I knew I had enough time to take at least a dribble.

"Man, I don't even know how it went in."

The Nets were involved in another close game that probably shouldn't have even came down to the final seconds, but they did and it finally ended it triumph. They led by as many as 16 in the second quarter, but declined as the game grew older and a very similar script came to be: Two bad turnovers with less than two minutes remaining.

Markel Brown, who had a career night with 19 points, committed a costly turnover that gave Denver possession with a little less than 50 seconds left. After a missed shot and failed jump ball, the Nuggets retained possession and Kenneth Faried made them pay with a gritty bucket. 1.3 seconds remaining.

As a (now) 14-39 team, why would you expect anything other than disappointment?

The turnovers, inability to regain possession for the length of nearly two full shot clocks, the punch from the other team. It should've been a knockout. But not this time. Joe Johnson, the second longest tenured Net, saved the day despite a pretty quiet 12-point night. The turnovers were suddenly forgotten about and nothing but joy and a win came to be.

"Man, I don't even know how it went in, Joe Johnson said."

"Joe Cool, as usual," Prokhorov told reporters as he walked out.

The late game craziness overshadowed the stellar play from Thaddeus Young, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the first quarter. As a whole, the Nets shot 52 percent and nailed nine three-pointers on 19 attempts. In the third quarter, Joe Johnson moved ahead of Scottie Pippen in 52nd place for points scored.

And of course the icing on the cake: The Nets' first-round pick from this years draft, Chris McCullough, suited up and made his NBA debut after sitting out for more than a year with an ACL tear. The Nets and other basketball minds still believed he would've been a lottery pick if he didn't get hurt.

The rookie and Bronx native made an impact and blocked a shot, grabbed two rebounds and nailed a mid-range jumper in his first six minutes of action. He played a total of 11 minutes.

Finally. Finally. Finally. The Nets can rejoice.

After earlier in the night... this!

How we all feel!

Off-court news:

Mikhail Prokhorov was in town to begin interviewing candidates for the vacant GM position... starting with Arturas Karnisovas, the assistant GM of the Nuggets.

To be precise, Mikhail Prokhorov, Dmitry Razumov, Sergey Kushchenko, Brett Yormark and Irina Pavlova were all on hand. The Nets are expected to have a GM soon, perhaps before the trade deadline a week from Thursday.

When reporters asked Prokhorov how the process is going, he kept it quick and quiet by saying, "It's not bad."

Add "that" and "here" with "bad" wedged in the middle and it's the infamous Joe Johnson line that serves as an mantra to this tough season. At least for one night, maybe one night only -- maybe not -- "It's not the bad here."

Next up: The final game before the All-Star break, Wednesday at 7:30 pm against the Memphis Grizzlies

For more on the Denver Nuggets, check them out at Denver Stiffs.