The New Jersey Nets are now 0-3 in the Deron Williams era. However, this is a rejuvenated team that has played with tons of energy since acquiring its new point guard.
With part-owner Jay-Z and Beyonce on hand, the Nets lost an overtime thriller to the Phoenix Suns, 104-103, at the Prudential Center in Newark. New Jersey has now lost six straight games.
This game came down to technology to determine the final outcome. With 6.6 seconds remaining in overtime, Deron Williams couldn’t find an opening and forced up a wild shot.
Kris Humphries was there for the tip-in, and after a few clanks off the rim, the ball fell through.
However, the officials ruled that the ball was still in contact with Humphries’s hand as the red light went on. The instant replay showed that the officials had made the right call, a very close call indeed.
That final ruling put a damper on a terrific comeback by the Nets. Williams, who was greeted to a standing ovation during his introduction, was brought back to the locker room late in the fourth quarter after banging his left hand into Brook Lopez’s knee.
Williams returned with 3:02 remaining and instantly gave the Nets the spark they needed. From there, Anthony Morrow took over.
Morrow scored nine points in the final 20 seconds, including hitting three free throws to tie the score at 96 and send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the teams traded baskets early on. Lopez was fouled with nine seconds left and the Nets up by one. He only made one of the two free throws.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry quickly drew up a play and it worked brilliantly. On the inbound, Marcin Gortat set a perfectly timed screen to allow Channing Frye to get an open look at a 3-pointer.
Frye drained the three, which proved to be the final nail in the Nets' coffin.
Steve Nash had a double-double with 10 points and 15 assists. The Suns bench accounted for 64 of their 104 points.
For the Nets, Williams recorded his third double-double in as many games with 13 points and 18 assists. Lopez (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Humphries (16 points, 15 rebounds) each had double-doubles as well.
The Nets will look to continue playing an up-tempo style of basketball as they journey across the Atlantic Ocean to play the Toronto Raptors for two games at the O2 Arena in London.