10. Nets Tie Series With Hawks At 2
The Nets received a miracle to make the playoffs, but their entry to the dance matched them up with the top seed in the East, the Atlanta Hawks. Mike Budenholzer’s side, characterized by their crisp passing and ball movement, took a 2-0 series heading to Brooklyn. The Nets won Game 3 before taking Game 4 in epic overtime fashion. 35 points from point guard Deron Williams, who scored only five points in Games 2 and 3 combined, led Brooklyn to a 120-115 victory and more importantly, a 2-2 tie in the series.
It was a vintage performance from Williams, who was aggressive from the get-go. He dropped 11 points in the first quarter, including sparking a 13-3 fourth quarter run to tie the game late. Williams did everything — he was money from deep, he was aggressive in the paint, and he showed a great first step to the basket. Williams had a playoff personal high with seven threes.
The Nets held a 104-102 lead before they surrendered a Paul Millsap layup to tie the game. Williams missed a go-ahead bucket, and Millsap was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra period, big men Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young each had huge and-ones to give the Nets the lead, and the Nets clinched the victory with free throws.
Brooklyn went on to lose Games 5 and 6, but the fact that they were able to tie the top seeded Hawks at 2-2 was very impressive.