Lionel on Loss to Mavs: “We battled”

Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins was pleased with the Nets’ effort in Monday night’s 96-88 overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Hollins spoke of Joe Johnson’s miss at the end of the game, their strong first quarter, and their defense.

Hollins said of the loss, “It was a great game. We were down, we battled, Joe (Johnson) made two big threes and made another bucket, and next thing you know, it was tied. We had a chance to win. I think Joe’s 40-something minutes two nights in a row maybe kept him from making that lost shot on the move, but he had a good shot. We played the extra session, they got some big shots from Monta Ellis, and eventually they won the game because offensive rebounding and Monta made a big shot, Dirk (Nowitzki) made a big three, Chandler Parsons made a big three.”

The Nets held Dallas to 39 percent shooting, and Hollins said of that, “We played good defense. We played good defense last night (in Miami), but we had 84 points last night and 88 points tonight, so their defense was obviously pretty good too. We shot 39 percent as well as they did. The difference in the game was that they got the 10 more shots from the offensive rebounding and they made seven more threes – that was the difference.”

On Joe Johnson’s shot at the buzzer that would have won the game but rimmed out, Hollins said, “All it was was iso in the middle of the court – let him go to work. Hopefully, if he did drive and they helped, we had Brook (Lopez) in one corner and Mirza (Teletovic) in the other corner.”

On the difference between the first quarter, in which the Nets outscored Dallas 35-21 and the rest of the game, Hollins said, “We made shots. If you make shots and you execute and you don’t turn the ball over, you have the chance to score. We have done it on a number of nights, but lately we just struggle. We struggle from the three-point line, and we struggle just making points period.”

On Joe Johnson missing shots in the clutch more than he had in his first two years with the Nets, Hollins said, “Well, I wouldn’t even go there with that because who tied the game up, who made the two threes (at the end of the fourth to tie the game at 80). Without him we are not in that position for Jarrett Jack to tie the game up. Joe hit two big threes, he hit another bucket at the basket, he carried us, and then Jarrett made the jumper in the lane to tie it up, at 80, or whatever it was, 82. You made some and you miss some. The thing about Joe is he is not afraid to take them. Because when you miss, just like you did, people say, ‘well, he is not making these clutch shots,’ but he has made them. They do not all have to be game-winners, but you got to get there, and he got us there.”

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