The Brooklyn Nets overcame insurmountable odds against the Houston Rockets, as Spencer Dinwiddie put up a clutch performance.
- Brooklyn Nets 145 (23-23)
- Houston Rockets 142 (25-18)
- NBA, Final, Box Score
- Toyota Center, Houston, TX
This was the best win of the Brooklyn Nets’ season.
The Nets ventured into Houston to match up with James Harden, who was fresh off of a 57-point game in Memphis. Brooklyn was, unsurprisingly, a heavy underdog against the fifth-seeded Houston Rockets.
For most of the game, they looked the part, too.
Let’s fast forward to the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. The Nets were down by double-digits against the Houston Rockets. Harden and Austin Rivers had been feasting on Brooklyn’s defense all game long.
D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn’s rising star, had himself a particularly awful game, posting only 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. D-Lo resembled the inconsistent point guard of old, and head coach Kenny Atkinson yanked him from the game at the seven-minute mark.
Things seemed to be getting pretty dire for the Nets.
Then, something changed.
The slumping Spencer Dinwiddie finally started to get himself going. Dinwiddie, who had gone 3-of-9 to start his night, finally started to hit some shots.
In typical Dinwiddie form, his makes came from balanced shots at the rim. He started to resemble the rising star from December that we all fell in love with.
Even with Dinwiddie slowly heating up, the Rockets had every counter at their services. For every Brooklyn bucket came an opposing Rockets three-pointer. At the two-and-a-half minute mark, the Rockets were ahead, 124-113.
An unexpected figure emerged for Brooklyn. DeMarre Carroll, who has looked much more sturdy since (finally) getting himself healthy, came alive. Carroll first made a tough, contested three-pointer. He then drew contact at the rim to earn free-throws. Then, in what was probably the best defensive play of the game, Carroll drew a charge on the immortal James Harden. (By the end of the game, Carroll finished with 22 points along with a 4-for-6 shooting performance from three).
All of the sudden, the Nets had a chance. Down 124-117, the game was still within reach.
This, my friends, is where the legend of Spencer Dinwiddie truly took flight. In the span of 28.6 seconds, Dinwiddie sank a trio of clutch threes to tie the game at 131 apiece. The final threes left us all breathless.
ICYMI: Spencer Dinwiddie’s ridiculous triple to force OT in Houston pic.twitter.com/ttJXOrvAjN
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) January 17, 2019
no way. Dinwiddie AGAIN at the death. Nets come all the way back to force OT. pic.twitter.com/qqtvzK0IUo
— Grim Wobber (@WorldWideWob) January 17, 2019
Somehow, this resilient Nets team had climbed out of the depths of hell to send this game to overtime.
However, overtime began to resemble the first three and a half quarters.
The Rockets took control of the extra period, and by the 1:28 mark, they led the Nets by six points. Once again, it appeared that Brooklyn seemed destined to lose this game. Perhaps, this time, the deficit would be too large to overcome.
However, again, Brooklyn fought back. Treveon Graham, who finally looked comfortable in the offense, sank a clutch three. (Graham finished with 21 points on the night — a career-high).
Then, Jarrett Allen had a monster block on James Nunnally to stop a seemingly open layup. Allen was rewarded on the other side of the court, as Dinwiddie dished a sweet assist.
Still, down by two points, the man of the hour made his final move.
With 34 seconds remaining in the overtime period, Dinwiddie put his head down and drove to the rim. Dinwiddie was met at the circle by the savvy veteran, PJ Tucker, who was looking to draw a charge. Seeing the incoming defender, Dinwiddie somehow careened his body around Tucker and sank a near-impossible Eurostep bucket.
Spencer Dinwiddie with another clutch basket.#WeGoHard pic.twitter.com/YyC1EdQj1b
— Sports Notes (@TheSportsNotes) January 17, 2019
Game. Set. Match.
Even with a monstrous 57-point James Harden performance, the Nets were able to overcome the insurmountable odds and fight off the Rockets. The Rockets took an earth-shattering 70 threes in the game — an NBA record. But the Nets held them to 23 makes at just under 33 percent from deep. Harden was 5-for-19 from behind the arc, but he was 21-for-23 from the free throw line.
Spencer Dinwiddie returned to his Sixth Man of the Year self, dropping 33 points on some clutch baskets. He was the engine that made the comeback happen.
I know it’s just one game, but this victory really seemed to mean more. The Nets chemistry was on full display against Houston. This was, by all accounts, a team win.
It was also one of the most impressive comeback victories of the NBA season.
Oh, and we can’t forget.
Jarrett Allen added another NBA superstar to his long list of block victims.
✓ A double-double in 16 minutes of play
✓ A block on James Harden
Add him to the list ? pic.twitter.com/aJGiQebl8s
— Elizabeth Swinton (@eswint22) January 17, 2019