After the New Jersey Nets fell to the Boston Celtics on Friday, there was a lot of chatter about point guard Deron Williams needing to shoot the ball more in Avery Johnson's offense. That's exactly what happened Sunday night as Williams exploded for a franchise record 57 points to lead the Nets to a 104-101 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
In addition to a team record, Williams' effort was also the best of his career and the most any player has scored in a single game this season. The All Star did more than just score. Williams also handed out seven assists and pulled down six rebounds.
The Nets previous franchise record for points in a game was 52, held by both Mike Newlin and Ray Williams. The only other New Jersey players to score in double digits against Charlotte were Kris Humphries with 11 and Shelden Williams off the bench with 10.
This game wasn't all about Williams though. New Jersey got a scare when center Brook Lopez went down with an ankle injury early in the second half and didn't return to the game. The team officially called it a rolled ankle, but there has to be a concern about a setback with his broken foot that cost him most of the season.
Johnson told reporters after the game Lopez had X-rays and when asked if they were negative, only said "he's going to get re-evaluated tomorrow". The coach said he would talk with GM Billy King about the next step, either sending Lopez back to New Jersey or taking him on the trip to Miami.
After the game, Williams said he was not only excited about setting the record for points, but just to get another win.
"Coach told us we would have off tomorrow if we won, so I wanted to try to win. I have an 11:39 tee time," Williams said on the court after the game.
The day off for New Jersey will keep the team fresh for Tuesday night's game against LeBron James and the Miami Heat in South Beach.