Notebook: Lopez, Johnson pick up D-Will
November, 23, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesJoe Johnson scored 19 points in the Nets' 86-76 win over the Clippers Friday.
On a night when Deron Williams didn’t have it -- and that seems to be pretty much every night of late -- Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson did.
D-Will went 3-for-10 from the field, but Lopez and Johnson combined for 45 points in the Brooklyn Nets’ 86-76 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at Barclays Center.
“Brook was a monster tonight. Joe was good as well. It was good that Joe finally got into a rhythm offensively,” said Williams, who is shooting just 33 percent from the field in his last five games. “Brook’s been great for us all year. We’ve been able to count on him every game. It’s definitely great to have weapons on nights like this. (Poor shooting)’s been kind of a theme for me, so they’ve been big.”
Why exactly is he shooting so poorly? D-Will wouldn’t answer. Perhaps it’s because every part of his body is ailing.
Nevertheless, the Nets wouldn’t have been able to overcome an off night from Williams the previous two seasons.
They can now.
Lopez (26 points, five rebounds, three blocks) produced his third straight 20-point performance, while Johnson, who was shooting just 31 percent in his previous four games, added 19 points on an efficient 8-for-12 from the field. During the Nets’ decisive 12-0 run late in the fourth quarter, the duo combined for seven points -- Johnson’s 3-pointer with 1:42 left serving as the knockout punch.
“It was big. We would love for all of us to have a pretty big night, but that’s not going to be the case all the time,” Johnson said. “We were able to pick up the slack. That’s what we need to kind of get over the hump sometimes.”
Debby Wong/US PresswireBlake Griffin stuffs Deron Williams' dunk attempt in the first half.
• D-Will (11 points, eight assists, three rebounds) improved to 14-4 in his career against Clippers point guard Chris Paul.
• Reggie Evans collected a team-high 12 rebounds in 22 minutes, the fourth time he has led the team and the third time he has grabbed 10-plus boards in a game.
• The Nets failed to score a single fast-break point in the game while allowing 17 to L.A.
• MarShon Brooks was active, but did not play.
• D-Will tried to finish a one-handed dunk late in the first quarter, but Blake Griffin rose up and blocked Williams in a play that will be shown on highlight reels for a while.
"I hope @blakegriffin gets fined for his flagrant block he had against me!" D-Will joked on Twitter. "I swear if I could jump approx. 8 in hight I would have got him"