Joe Johnson almost single-handedly snapped a Brooklyn Nets' 13-game losing streak to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, but the teams go back at it Tuesday in Milwaukee to close a home-and-home series.
Johnson drained a game-tying 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation, then hit a pull-up jumper from the foul line as time expired to give the Nets a 113-111 victory.
"In those situations, sitting on the bench when coach draws up a play, he basically puts something in our hands and tells you to come on," said Johnson. "So I just try to do a great job, trying to get space and trying to make the best play possible. My teammates and coaches have the utmost confidence in me, and I just try to come through in big moments like that."
Johnson has. Monday's was his third game-winning basket this season.
"I'm thinking of how the defense is going to play, or what I'm going to do," Johnson said. "But at the end of the day, when I get the basketball it's instincts, it's reaction. I totally read the man who's guarding me and how he's playing, that's it."
The win was Brooklyn's third straight, but first since Mar. 3, 2009 against the Bucks.
Johnson finished with 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Deron Williams returned from some ankle ailments and added 19, as did Brook Lopez, fresh off his first All-Star Game appearance.
The Bucks weren't flabbergasted by Monday's result, or, more specifically, who got the Nets the win.
"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 (Mbah a Moute) played him tough and Joe just made a great shot."
The Bucks have dropped five of their last six and seven of the previous nine. They've fallen to .500 on the season, but did receive some major performances from the starting lineup Monday night.
Brandon Jennings went for 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds in over 48 minutes of action. Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 in over 44 minutes and Monta Ellis had 18 in close to 48 minutes.
Larry Sanders returned from a lower-back injury on Monday and had 14 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. He has now blocked a shot in 34 straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA.
Not only was the Nets' last victory over the Bucks almost four years ago, but that was the last time Brooklyn, then the New Jersey Nets, prevailed in Brew City. The Nets are losers in six straight at the Bradley Center.