Williams attempt falls short as Nets lose to Grizzlies

Tayshaun Prince had 11 points in the Grizzlies win. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Tayshaun Prince had 11 points in the Grizzlies win.
Credit: AFP/Getty Images

With 19.2 seconds left, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov rose from his seat in his suite high atop the Barclays Center.

Prokhorov, like many in the crowd, was anticipating a game-tying shot.

Eleven seconds later, his face was buried in his hands as Deron Williams’s attempt fell short into Tayshaun Prince’s grasp and the Nets wound up with a 76-72 loss to the Grizzlies.

The Nets dropped their second straight game with Joe Johnson watching in a suit from the bench because of a sore left heel.

Williams scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and got a shot at two more with less than 30 seconds to play. He crossed over Tony Allen and attempted to get a shot past Zach Randolph while enduring contact. He did not get a foul call, much to the dismay of the crowd.

“I definitely got fouled, but they didn’t call it, so I guess I didn’t,” Williams said. “It’s frustrating, but I can’t really control no calls or calls or anything like that. I can control that I turned the ball over on the next play, which is even more frustrating and how we executed down the stretch is frustrating.”

Williams briefly fell to the ground but appeared uninjured. On the next possession, Keith Bogans was initially called for a goaltending but after it was reversed Mirza Teletovic was called for a foul and Allen hit two free throws for a 74-72 lead.

“I thought Deron did a great job of taking the ball to the basket,” interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “It’s hard to believe. I thought there was a travel before the pass. I didn’t watch the replay yet. He goes to the basket on the other end and gets knocked down and I think if you watch the replay, you’ll see a travel before the pass but you don’t lose the game on the last play. We had other opportunities to do things and that’s just a disappointing way to lose.”

The Nets were unable to overcome Johnson’s absence because Brook Lopez was ineffective in the post. He sat for the entire fourth quarter and was held to nine points while shooting 3-of-10. Lopez left the locker room, escorted by general manager Billy King, without talking to the media.

Even with Johnson sitting and Lopez a non-factor, Williams’s aggressiveness nearly willed the Nets to a win. Williams was an efficient 9-of-14 and seemed more intent on driving to the basket instead of settling for jump shots, though he knocked down four 3-pointers.

Williams’s efficiency came on a night where the rest of the starting lineup fell short. The other four starters combined for 22 points, eight turnovers and shot 8-of-27 from the field.

The rest of the starters were so ineffective on the offensive side that Gerald Wallace, C.J. Watson and Evans sat for virtually the entire fourth quarter as Carlesimo went with Bogans, Brooks, Teletovic, Andray Blatche and Williams for most the final period.

That group helped turn a 55-51 deficit into two five-point leads. The last one was on Teletovic’s 19-foot fadeaway before it all fell apart.

“It hurt a lot because you don’t want to lose at home,” Evans said. “It hurts a lot. We couldn’t find a way to make a bucket and things didn’t go our way at the end like we probably thought it would, but unfortunately we didn’t find a way to get a win.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.

Even with Johnson sitting and Lopez a non-factor, Williams’ aggressiveness nearly willed the Nets to a win as he spent most of the night trying to get around Tony Allen. Williams was an efficient 9-of-14 and seemed more intent on driving to the basket instead of settling for jump shots, though he knocked down four 3-pointers.

 

Williams’ efficiency came on a night where the rest of the starting lineup fell short.  The other four starters combined for 22 points, eight turnovers and shot 8-of-27 from the field.

 

The rest of the starters were so ineffective on the offensive side that Gerald Wallace, C.J. Watson and Evans sat for virtually the entire fourth quarter as Carlesimo went with Bogans, Brooks, Teletovic, Andray Blatche and Williams for most the final period.

 

That group helped turn a 55-51 deficit into two five-point leads. The last one was on Teletovic’s 19-foot fadeaway and then it all fell apart.

 

“It hurt a lot because you don’t want to lose at home,” Evans said. “It hurts a lot. We couldn’t find a way to make a bucket and things didn’t go our way at the end like we probably thought it would but unfortunately we didn’t find a way to get a win.”


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