- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Deron Williams’ postgame tweet said it all.
“GREAT WIN fellas @tyshawntaylor stepped up big time tonight”
He sure did.
With Williams sidelined due to inflammation in both ankles and C.J. Watson struggling mightily, Tyshawn Taylor delivered a pair of key baskets in overtime, and the Brooklyn Nets gutted out an ugly 89-84 overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night in Indianapolis.
The rookie point guard out of Kansas, who had been averaging just 4.1 minutes in 25 games coming in, finished with a career-high 12 points in 34 minutes, while adding two assists and two rebounds.
“I’m excited,” Taylor told YES Network sideline reporter Sarah Kustok after the game. “I feel like this was just kinda the routine for rookies. You wait your turn, and when your number is called, you perform, and that’s what I tried to do.”
The Nets (30-22), who had lost six of nine coming in -- including a 25-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night in Brooklyn -- trailed 77-76 in OT before Taylor took over.
His 20-foot jumper with 3:29 left put the Nets back on top to stay, and he followed that up with a driving no-look shot in the paint a minute later to make it 80-77.
“The longer I was out there, the more comfortable I got,” Taylor said. “I’m glad we got the win.”
Just one day ago, Williams and Gerald Wallace were questioning the trust in the locker room. But the Nets played as a team Monday night, and earned themselves a hard-fought victory.
“I thought we competed the whole game,” said Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, who improved to 16-8 since taking over for Avery Johnson.
The Nets shot just 38.8 percent from the field and had only nine assists, but held the Pacers to 34.4 percent shooting and 5-for-22 from 3-point range.
Reggie Evans had eight points and 22 rebounds in 43 minutes, while Brook Lopez added 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 42 minutes. Wallace chipped in 11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 46 minutes, and held Paul George to just 1-for-10 from the field.
Joe Johnson, who missed eight of his first 10 shots, scored 17 points -- including a driving isolation bucket with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.
And Taylor did the rest.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the game we played,” Carlesimo said.