Nets banish Wizards behind Williams' big night
Updated: 2013-03-09 17:00
By Yan Weijue in New York (chinadaily.com.cn)
Deron Williams scored a season-high 42 points, including 11 three-pointers, as the Brooklyn Nets mauled the visiting Washington Wizards, 95-78, on Friday night at Barclays Center, New York.
The 11 threes by the star point guard beat the previous franchise record of nine, and was just shy of the league's record of 12 threes in a game, an achievement he did not see prior to the big night.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams drives to the basket past Washington Wizards point guard John Wall in the third quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York, March 8, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
"You'll never know that," said Williams of his scoring extravaganza. "(But) I definitely got hot, especially in the first quarter. I just found myself very open. When I hit first a couple, I just, you know, when the shots leave my hand they feel good, so I just kept shooting."
"He just kept making shot after shot. So he just got us such a good cushion that the rest of the game was just played out," said PJ Carlesimo, Nets' head coach.
Williams got into the zone from the very start of the game. He hit six three-pointers in the first five minutes, propelling the Nets to a comfortable 22-2 lead early. He finished the first quarter with 23 points.
"He was hot like fish grease," commented Reggie Evans, whose contribution – 11 points and a career-high 24 rebounds – may be easily overlooked due to Williams' explosion.
Williams' sizzling shooting streak continued in the second quarter, as he hit two more threes to set a new NBA record with nine threes in one half. He had 33 of the Nets' 59 first-half points, matching the whole Wizards combined.
"I knew from the 2nd one (of Deron's threes)," said Joe Johnson of the Nets. "When a guy gets hot like that and the defense doesn't adjust, man ... You can do that all night."
Since the All-Star break and a round of cortisone shots in both of his inflamed ankles, Williams has shrugged off a shooting slump, averaging 23.8 points. He went 35-for-66 from behind the three-point line.
"He's been excellent and magnetic. I think most of it is related to his feeling better. He is not pain free. But he seems to be in a better place physically than he was before the break," said Carlesimo.
The Wizards started the second half with more hustle and some solid defense on Williams, outscoring the Nets 25-15 in the third quarter, and once trailed as few as 13 points after AJ Price's three-pointer with 9:06 left in the fourth quarter.
But the deficit was still too big for them to chip away. Brook Lopez slammed it hard off a nice pass by Williams, who then added another 19-foot jumper as well as his 11th three to put the Wizards away.