Brooklyn, NY – Down the stretch, Joe Johnson single-handedly brought the Nets out from the jaws of defeat.
He sent the contest to overtime with a tough 3-pointer and then went on to bury the game-winner as time expired to give Brooklyn a 113-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday at Barclays Center.
"The end of game play is pretty good when it's in Joe's hands," said Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo. "We just give it to Joe and get out of the way."
Johnson scored 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting and Deron Williams added 19 points with nine assists as the Nets came out of the All-Star break to collect their third straight win.
Brook Lopez added 19 points and nine boards in the triumph, which helped the Nets end a 13-game losing streak to Milwaukee.
Brandon Jennings had 34 points and Ersan Ilyasova contributed 21 points and nine rebounds, but the Bucks dropped their fifth game in six tries.
Larry Sanders returned from a four-game absence and totaled 14 points, eight boards and six blocks in the setback. Milwaukee will have another crack at the Nets on Wednesday when they play the second game of the home-and-home series at Bradley Center.
With just seconds left in regulation, the Nets seemed dead in the water after Williams hit Monta Ellis in the face with an inadvertent elbow, resulting in an offensive foul.
Jennings the added two free throws to give Milwaukee a 105-102 lead, but following a timeout, Johnson got freed up off a screen and knocked down the tying triple to send the game to overtime.
Keith Bogans began the extra session with a triple, and after the Bucks scored six unanswered points, he buried another to knot the game at 111-111 with 1:03 left to play.
Jennings got a good look from just outside the paint with the clock winding down, but his jumper rimmed in and out before falling into the hands of Gerald Wallace.
On the game's final play, the Nets ran an isolation for Johnson, who dribbled through his legs before rising above Luc Mbah a Moute on a stepback jumper to sink the game-winning shot.
"Joe Johnson makes big shots," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "It wasn't a shock that Brooklyn went to him. We knew that's where they'd be looking. Luc played him tough and Joe just made a great shot."
Brooklyn was in control early during the contest, building its advantage to as many as 15 points in the second quarter before taking a 61-51 advantage into the break.
Jennings, however, exploded for 16 points in the third quarter, with his second triple of the period tying the contest at 73-73. Ellis then followed shortly after with a 3-pointer to put Milwaukee ahead and they carried an 81-80 edge into the fourth.
The Nets last defeated the Bucks on March 3, 2009 ... Brooklyn is 5-0 in overtime games this season ... Sanders recorded a block for the 34th consecutive game ... The Bucks have dropped four straight road contests ... There were 18 lead changes and seven ties throughout the contest.