- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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"I thought they were going to boo me one time because I didn't shoot it," he said. "I think I stepped behind a screen, and I might have had a shot, but I passed it down to Joe (Johnson), and they kind of went 'awwwww.'"
That play was the lone exception on a night in which the man known as D-Will morphed into 3-Will.
On Friday, Williams hit a franchise-record and a career-high 11 3-pointers -- including an NBA-record nine in the first half -- and finished with a season-high 42 points in his team's 95-78 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Vince Carter held the previous franchise high with nine 3-pointers, set on Dec. 11, 2006. The NBA record for 3s in a game is 12 shared by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall. Williams finished 11 for 16 from beyond the arc, 15 for 24 overall.
"He was hot like fish grease," said Nets power forward Reggie Evans, who added a career-high 24 rebounds and 11 points.
"You could say that," said Williams, who opened the game by hitting six 3-pointers in the opening 4 minutes and 45 seconds as the Nets jumped out to a 24-2 lead. "I definitely got hot -- especially in the first half. I just found myself really open. They were helping off me and going under screens, so I hit the first couple -- and when those shots leave your hand, they feel like they're good, so I just kept shooting."
Williams went a franchise-record 7 for 7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. He made his first eight 3s before finally missing with 5:50 left in the second period.
Williams had a team season-high 23 points in the first quarter and 33 at the half -- the same amount the Wizards totaled as a team. He was 12 for 15 from the field, including 9 for 11 from 3-point range.
"Deron was unbelievable," Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said.
Williams now owns the single-game franchise records for points in a game with 57 and 3-pointers.
"I'm just happy we won, that's the main thing. If I had done this in a loss, it definitely wouldn't have meant anything," he said. "So all the records are good, good stories to tell your kids and your grandkids when you get older, but I'm just after one thing and that's a championship."
Williams elected to re-sign with the Nets in the offseason, inking a five-year, $98 million contract. But it's been a struggle for the 28-year-old since.
Williams has had to overcome a myriad of injuries and fatigue issues. He's also struggled with his confidence shooting the ball, as well as becoming acclimated to a more isolation-heavy offensive system.
Williams was not named an All-Star after making the team from 2010-12.
He skipped two games prior to the All-Star break due to inflammation in both ankles, but has been a different player since taking a week off. During that span, he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy, received a third set of cortisone shots in both ankles and did a three-day juice cleanse.
In his last nine games, Williams is averaging 23.8 points and 7.0 assists on 48 percent shooting, including 53 percent from 3-point range.
"I feel great -- night and day from the beginning of the season," Williams said. "Mentally and physically."
Added Carlesimo: "He's been excellent. I think most of it is because he's feeling better. He's not pain-free but he seems to be in a better place physically than he was before the break. I think that his decision to shut it down those last two games and get treatment seems to have really paid off for us."
Williams sported high tops to give his ankles better support.
"I blew them out, each half, two pairs," Williams said. "I had to change them halftime and after the game."
His sixth 3-pointer of the night -- which came from 25 feet out -- gave the Nets a 20-point lead with 7:18 left in the opening stanza.
"It was a heat check," Williams said. "I figured I should've shot another one after that, too. Joe told me I should've when I came to the bench."
As a team, the Nets shot just 39.5 percent and committed 19 turnovers, but D-Will bailed them out from beyond the arc.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams hit a franchise record 11 3-pointers -- including an NBA-record nine in the first half -- and finished with a season-high 42 points in his team's 95-78 victory over the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center.