The Nets erased an eight-point deficit in the final minute to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 102-100 at Barclays Center on Monday night. This final minute could be the turning point the Nets have been looking for this season.
Alan Anderson had the big four-point play that capped a 10-0 run and gave the Nets a 100-98 lead with 15.3 seconds left. He hit a three-pointer in the corner, and Blake Griffin fouled him (it was his sixth, so he fouled out), which gave Anderson the free throw to complete the four-point play.
Anderson said of that play, “I just had to catch-and-shoot because I knew we had a screen-and-roll and Jarrett (Jack) had a floater and if not he had me in the corner. I knew I had just made one, so just catch and shoot. I saw Blake (Griffin) help a little bit too much, so it was just about being ready to shoot.”
On the look he had in the corner, Anderson said, “I had a real good look. I saw him (Blake Griffin) in the paint. When the ball was coming, he was still in the paint. I mean, he was closing so hard, so once he touched me I knew I had to drop and get the foul. When it left my hand, I knew it was going in.”
Anderson said of the 12-2 stretch to end the game, “We executed. We set good screens, made open passes, and we knocked down some shots.”
On finally winning one after coming so close in their last couple games, Anderson said, “It’s good, and I mean, like you said, we were knocking on the door, two tough losses with the last two teams (Atlanta on Wednesday and Toronto on Friday) and you know, finally turned the table and got a win.”
On remembering the 39-point loss in L.A. to the Clippers on January 22nd and how much did it fuel the Nets on Monday night, Anderson said, “Oh, that was big. You know, we had to make it a fight because we didn’t want them to think that was us in L.A. So, we made it a fight and came out with the win.”
Anderson said of having multiple guys help close out a game, “It makes it tougher to guard. You know, usually teams just go right and double Joe (Johnson) and leave everybody else open, you know. Hopefully we can get some momentum and keep rolling like this and give Joe some backup.”
Anderson said of Jarrett Jack’s jumper to win it, “He’s one of the best midrange shooters in the league, so I mean when he shot it, you know he wouldn’t have took it if he didn’t have confidence to make it. He took it and I was hoping it would go in and it did.”
Jarrett Jack hit the game-winning shot with 1.3 seconds left, and he said of it after the game, “I actually saw it (the rim). When they came off and they switched the pick-and-roll, I crossed over and I kind of got him (DeAndre Jordan) off balance a little bit, attacked the basket, got it kind of rocking back and I just needed a little bit of separation. When it left my hand, I knew it was cash. I thought I would have been really upset if I had missed it, but you know, I just owe the credit to my coaches and my teammates who had the confidence to put me in that situation, especially when I wasn’t having the greatest shooting night.” Jack is referring to how he shot just 3-for-11 (0-2 on threes) and had just 6 points, along with 7 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Jack said of whether he knew beforehand that he wanted to jump it on the last shot, “Well, I didn’t know they were going to switch the pick-and-roll. You know, we previously ran that play and I was able to get into the lane and that’s when I found Al (Anderson) in the corner and he made the big three, plus the foul, so at the end, I guess they just switched their covers. I mean, I guess they saw we only had a limited time to work, and I guess he (DeAndre Jordan) was going to make me shoot.”
On what the final sequence was like, Jack said, “It was crazy. Coach (Lionel Hollins) drove the play, put me in the mix of it. I don’t know is he was aware of, you know, I wasn’t having my best shooting night tonight, but I guess he liked the matchup that we had. We had previously just ran the play, and that was when I was able to get in the lane and find Alan in the corner for the three ball, and we ran it again. They switched their covers, they switched their big out. I was able to get him (DeAndre Jordan) kind of rocking back on his heels, and he still contested it pretty good, but you know, it was good defense, better offense.”
Deron Williams made his return on Monday night after being sidelined since January 7th with a rib/left side injury, He had 15 points (5-8 FG, 3-5 on threes), with 3 assists and 3 rebounds in 29:07, and he played the entire fourth quarter, most of it alongside Jack, who played 9:15 of the fourth.
Williams said of what it was like to get back on the court, “I was happy to be out there, happy to get a win. We didn’t get a win all of January at home.”
On what it was like to be part of this win after watching the team struggle, Williams said, “It’s tough. It’s tough when your team is struggling and you can’t be out there with them. You know, watching from the sideline, they’ve been battling. I thought we played well the last few games before this game, and it’s kind of just a carryover.”
Williams said of getting a win after how the last few weeks have been, “It was great, man. It was one game when everything actually went our way. You know, it seems like we’re a team where in the games, it usually goes the opposite. We made a lot of plays down the stretch and got stops.”
On having the stamina to play down the stretch after being out for so long, Williams said, “I’ve been running on the treadmill a lot, you know, trying to stay in shape, so maybe it was just the adrenaline of this game, but I thought I felt really good. I didn’t feel winded at all. I’ve been running a lot.”