After the Nets had surrendered their 10-point halftime advantage in a frustrating third quarter that saw the Bucks outscore them 30-19, Johnson knew he needed to take over.
He connected on three of his six fourth-quarter attempts, none bigger than his game-tying three over the outstretched hands of the lengthy Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with just 1.3 seconds left in regulation.
Despite having a raucous home crowd behind them, the Nets looked gassed in the extra session.
Keith Bogans opened the scoring in the overtime, burying a triple on the period's first possession. But Brooklyn's next four trips went scoreless, while Milwaukee opened up a three-point advantage heading into the game's final 90 seconds.
Bogans once again answered the bell, as he corralled Larry Sanders' block of Gerald Wallace's attempt and hit a game-tying three with 1:03 left on the clock. The teams traded missed field goals and Gerald Wallace's rebound of an errant Brandon Jennings attempt with 10 seconds left gave Brooklyn the final possession.
Everyone knew where the ball was going for the final shot, including Bucks coach Jim Boylan, who once again assigned his best defender, Mbah a Moute, to Johnson. A Brook Lopez screen freed up Johnson to make the catch, and a few hesitations and crossovers gave him all the space he needed to send the Bucks home with a back-breaking 113-111 loss and Twitter into a frenzy.
I...So...Joe— Josh Martin (@Josh_E_Martin) February 20, 2013
Joe Johnson is incredible.— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) February 20, 2013
JOE JOHNSON IS A BAD MAN— Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) February 20, 2013
ISO JOE IS YOUR FATHER AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) February 20, 2013
As incredible as those shots were, they shouldn't have been all that surprising. As Johnson has shown throughout the years, he's got a certain flair for the dramatics:
Joe Johnson has 4 career game-winning buzzer-beaters. Over last 10 seasons, only 2 players have more: Kobe Bryant & Gilbert Arenas.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2013
With ice water pumping through his veins, maybe it's time for a new nickname for New York's newest closer: "Broadway Joe 2.0."