Nets beat Bobcats behind another big game from Deron Williams

Deron Williams
Deron Williams had another big game in the second half of the season.
Credit: Getty Images

A Josh McRoberts dunk with six minutes left put in the Nets in one of those rare instances of late — trailing in the second half at home.

Then Deron Williams decided to atone for blowing a defensive assignment on McRoberts by taking over offensively.

Williams scored 25 points and made a handful of key plays down the stretch as the Nets ran their home winning streak to 10 games with a 103-98 victory over the Bobcats.

“I feel confident,” Williams said. “Confidence is getting back and that’s a good thing for me. I tend to play well when my confidence is high. I just got to keep it there, keep attacking and keep being aggressive.”

The Nets trailed for 65 seconds in the second half. They have trailed for just 3:20 in the second half during their home winning streak, which is the fourth longest in franchise history and the longest in eight years.

“I was just out there playing and kind of took what the defense gave me,” Williams said. “They made their run and we needed to make one back. So I had to be a big part of that but it could have been any one of us.”

On the next possession after Charlotte took the lead, Williams crossed over Kemba Walker for a layup that made it 85-84. After Walker missed a 3-pointer, Williams buried a 3-pointer and pumped his fist to put them up by four points. He followed that up by drawing an offensive foul on Walker that led to him making two free throws.

“Deron took control of the game and made plays on both ends,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “I thought he did a great job tonight.”

Williams reached 20 points in consecutive games for the third time this season and capped his showing with another crossover on Walker for an 18-footer with 37.8 seconds remaining that made it 100-95.

Plays like that are what the Nets are used to seeing from Williams when he is confident and healthy. He was neither earlier this season, missing 16 games with ankle injuries and admitting to reporters his confidence had waned.

“I can’t answer it to where I know he feels great, but I think his play is speaking for that, on both ends,” Kidd said. “He’s making all the right basketball plays and he’s not settling. Maybe that’s because of his health and he feels good that he’s able to get into the paint.”

His teammates have noticed, two nights after joking about the point guard’s first dunk of the season.

“That’s the Deron we’re used to seeing,” Andray Blatche said. “His confidence is high and he’s playing great and carrying the team.”

“He has grown throughout the season as he’s gotten healthier,” Shaun Livingston said. “He has been playing his best basketball.”

Besides scoring, Williams had eight assists and three rebounds. The second board was the biggest one.

It came after Joe Johnson missed a 3-point attempt with 3:47 remaining. Williams grabbed the offensive rebound and fed Johnson who made it 92-87 with a running 10-footer.

Williams’ other big play is one that won’t appear in the box score but it was crucial. With about 2 1/2 minutes left, Williams drove to the hoop but as soon as he reached it, he was met by a double team, so instead of forcing a shot, he passed to Alan Anderson in the left corner.

Anderson swung the ball to Paul Pierce, who drained a 3-pointer from roughly the same spot as his game-winner on March 10 against Toronto, highlighting the trust factor that the Nets talked about afterward.

“One of the nice basketball plays I thought was seeing the ball start on the left box in a pick-and-roll and ending up in the right corner,” Kidd said. “Alan could have shot it but he passed it to Paul and Paul makes a big three for us. It’s just everyone touching the ball and everyone has trust and you could see that in the big moments of a game.”

“I think that’s key for us — the trust factor both offensively and defensively. I think that’s something we didn’t really have early on in the season and I feel that’s why we struggled a little bit and I feel now we trust each other,” Williams said. “We trust that if one of us gets beat, the next guy is going to have our back. It doesn’t happen every time but we know if it does, the next time it’s going to be there.”

Johnson added 20 points and Livingston added 17 points after making his first five shots. Blatche chipped in 13 points and Marcus Thornton contributed 11 points as the Nets improved to 25-10 in their last 35 games.

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.