Joe Johnson does not remember his first game-winning shot. It was most likely as a youth while playing in the Boys' Club in Arkansas, he assumes. Quiet and low key, his personality is marked by a lack of bragging.
Instead, he produces highlights that resound for him — this season they have often come late in games and under high stakes. There was the buzzer-beater to beat Detroit in double-overtime in December. A month later, with a clinching shot in Washington with 0.7 seconds remaining in double-overtime, he proved his mettle again.
Last night, in a 113-111 victory over Milwaukee, Johnson made his point again. With 5.2 seconds remaining in overtime, Johnson received the ball near midcourt, the Bucks’ Luc Mbah a Moute draped all over him. He made a hard crossover dribble, then elevated above the foul line. His form was as pure as the shot, which hit nothing but the net. Johnson ran toward his bench, and the Nets went off into the night with a victory.
It was his second serving of heroics, the last of his team-high 24 points. He first saved the Nets from a potentially dreary beginning to the second half of the season by nailing a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. They had allowed a 15-point lead to slip away, and seen Brandon Jennings repeatedly burn them on the way to a 34-point game.
Brook Lopez and Deron Williams added 19 points each as the Nets snapped a 13-game skid against the Bucks dating back to March 30, 2009.
Johnson, as he has in his first season with the Nets, made the final seconds of regulation his own. Though Williams may have been the Nets’ beacon upon their arrival in Brooklyn, Johnson has made these game-winning moments his own.
Nets defeat Bucks 113-111 as Joe Johnson hits game-winner at the buzzer in overtime
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 20