Sunday, April 28, 2013
Momentum shifted after C.J.'s miss
By Mike Mazzeo
Different scenario. Different result.
With 48 seconds left in the first quarter of Saturday's Game 4 loss, Brooklyn Nets point guard C.J. Watson got a steal at halfcourt, then easily dribbled to the basket and finished a layup at the rim to give his team a 26-21 lead.
But with 3:16 remaining in the fourth quarter, Watson missed a two-handed dunk with no one near him that would've given the Nets a 111-95 edge over the Chicago Bulls.
You know what happened after that.
Nate Robinson scored 12 straight points and the Bulls closed on a 16-2 run over the final 2 minutes, 53 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime. During that span, Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace combined to go 0-for-4 from the free-throw line, Deron Williams foolishly fouled Robinson behind the 3-point line -- three successful free throws ensued -- and the Nets were whistled for a five-second violation.
Watson's missed dunk didn't cost Brooklyn the game. But it was certainly a momentum-changer.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Nets were shooting 60.6 percent from the field before Watson's miss. They went just 8-for-31 from the field the rest of the way, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range. Williams missed seven of his last eight shots, making only one basket during the three overtime periods.
The last time Watson converted a dunk in a game was against Philadelphia on Dec. 21, 2010, when he was with Chicago. According to basketball-reference.com, he hadn't attempted a dunk in a game since then prior to Saturday.