The New Jersey Nets were less than a tenth of a second away from a victory Monday night, when Kris Humphries tip-in at the buzzer in overtime was ruled no good. With the shot being waved off, the Nets lost their sixth straight, this one a 104-103 heart-breaker to the Phoenix Suns.
Considering how far they came back in regulation, winning in the final seconds of Deron Williams' Newark debut would have been appropriate. The Nets were down seven with a minute to go in the game, but were powered by the heroics of Anthony Morrow -- nine points in the final 22 seconds -- to force overtime.
New Jersey was up two with nine seconds to go in overtime, when Brook Lopez missed a free throw that would have extended the lead. On the other end of the floor, Channing Frye answered with a three off an in-bounds play to give Phoenix the lead. Williams drove to the basket on the final possession, the ball bounced off the rim where Humphries tipped it in for what would have been the win.
The officials went to the monitor to check if they had made the right call. They upheld the original decision, something Humphries couldn't really argue with.
"I thought it was super-close," Humphries said. "From what I heard, they couldn't tell so they had to go with the ruling on the floor."
Lopez had a game-high 28 points to go with 10 rebounds, Morrow had 22 and Williams contributed his third straight double-double with 13 points and 18 assists.
Marcin Gortat led the Suns with 17 points, part of a 64-18 bench scoring advantage for Phoenix. Hakim Warrick added 16, including some monstrous dunks while Robin Lopez had 14.
Nets head coach Avery Johnson got the play he wanted int he final seconds, which almost produced the perfect ending.
"It would have been a storybook ending for Deron's shot to go down for us," Johnson said referencing Williams' first game in front of the home fans.
"His shot rolled out and then Humphries shot went in but just a tenth of a second too late."
As you would expect, the Nets players were disappointed after the game, a feeling the head coach shared.
"They felt real bad, but they don't feel as bad as I do for them, because they really battled tonight."
Shortly after the final buzzer, Morrow found himself being chatted up by minority owner Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce. While it didn't help take the sting of the loss away, the sharp shooter enjoyed being able to talk to the power couple.
"It's great, you know. He's there supporting us and she is too. They're two great entertainers, two great people and we're glad to have them on our side."
Next up for the Nets is a trip across the ocean in search of their first win in the Deron Williams era. They will play two "home" games against the Toronto Raptors on Friday and Saturday.
|Final - 2.28.2011||1||2||3||4||OT 1||Total|
|New Jersey Nets||23||28||15||30||7||103|