What an exhilarating game. I went to the game with a friend and it was awesome (well the second half was). The Nets played an absolutely awful first half, they couldn't score to save the life of them. They had only 16 points about midway through the 2nd quarter and only 29 at the half. They were down 20 at the half but I think they were lucky they were only down 20 because the Hawks should have run away with this game, and 20 points may seem like a lot but the Hawks could've been up by 30. The game was so atrocious though that Coach Frank got himself ejected because he had clearly seen enough of their offensive ineptitude, and Brian Hill was left in charge of the sqaud. The boos were coming down from around the building during the first half, particularly at the end of it as it ended on quite a poor note. The Nets had a little over 4 seconds left with the ball and they throw it into Brook Lopez who loses it, and Mario West, a 12th man for the Hawks buries a half court jumper, this epitomized the first half... nothing went right.
The second half was a different story though, as the Nets went to a semi-trap defense and the Hawks suddenly couldn't find the basket while the Nets were pushing the tempo and burying their 3s. The charge was led by Devin Harris (26 points, 11 assists) who pushed the ball up the floor alot and created for teammates, setting up a lot of wide open threes. They would be cutting the lead and the Hawks would push it up, and the Nets could never really get over the hump. Had the Hawks made their free throws I don't know if the Nets would have had it in them to comeback but in the late 3rd quarter and early 4th Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith both missed a couple of free throws and the Nets hung around. VC had a terrible first half then he heated up at the end of the 3rd quarter but when Harris was taken out, Vince went into trying to take over all by himself mode and started forcing shots. Brian Hill made a good coaching decision though to take him out when he started doing this. The Nets got some great help from the role players tonight as well as Simmons and Hayes both played very well and buried some big 3s, Dooling also gave the Nets a spark, and so did Josh Boone. On his 1st sequence in the game Boone grabbed 3 offensive rebounds on 1 possesion before being fouled, he played with a lot of grit. The Nets finally got over the hump at 69-68, then an interesting coaching decision was made as brian Hill had Ryan Anderson in the game even though Frank had recently taken him out of the rotation. Anderson buried a huge 3 to give the Nets a 74-71 lead, and the game went back and forth the rest of the fourth with the Nets going with a small lineup of Harris, VC, Hayes, Dooling, and Lopez. Harris tweaked his hamstring with about 5 minutes to go in the 4th and he wasn't the same after that, turning the ball over and shooting poorly.
The Nets were in control of overtime, continuing their great shooting, and they had the ball up one with 20 seconds to go and the Hawks didn't foul and Harris turned it over, leading to a Hawks score. The Nets then had the ball with 12 to go and there was a foul with 4 seconds left. A bad inbounds throw went into the back court and was retrieved by Carter who took a few dribbles and from 31 feet buried the game winner, and the crowd which had been cheering the Nets on the entire 2nd half, erupted.
What a game.