The New Jersey Nets rebounded from a 7-point deficit with 1:17 left to go in the game against the Phoenix Suns Monday night to send the game into overtime on 9 huge points by Nets guard Anthony Morrow, but the Suns Channing Frye would hit his second game winner in as many days when he nailed a three-pointer with 6.6 left in overtime to give the Suns the victory, 104-103. A tip by Nets forward Kris Humphries that would have won the game came just as the clock expired to send a crowd of 15,836 that included Nets minority owner Jay-Z, Beyonce, Michael Strahan and Nicole Murphy home disappointed.
“The play with Frye, you know, it’s something that we went over and we just kind of missed the switch and hopefully next time we’ll just execute better defensively. We knew what they were going to run, Frye made the same basic shot from a different area on the floor against Indiana” Nets head coach Avery Johnson said after the game. “They felt real bad but they don’t feel as bad as I do for them because they really battled tonight. What a game tonight, disappointed that we came up on the losing end, disappointed that Deron’s shot didn’t go and Humphries tip, we just missed the tip by a tenth of a second and it would have been a story-book ending for Deron’s shot to go down for us.”
Brook Lopez took the blame on his shoulders after the game, in which he matched up with his younger twin brother, Robin Lopez. ““They ran a good play a possession before it but I missed the switch. That’s definitely on me, Hump got screened and I missed the switch” Lopez said of the play where Frye hit the game-winning shot.
Channing Frye was excited, yet subdued after the game. “This is extremely humbling. They did a good job with holding me all night, not leaving me. The Nets hit big shots. Anthony hit big shots. Kris got on the glass and did a great job tonight. We just need to closeout, but I shot it and it went in. To be honest I’m not really nervous about the last-second shot. We got a win that we really needed.”
Former two-time MVP Steve Nash spoke highly of the Nets recent acquisition. “Deron is one of the best players in the game. For this franchise to get him it’s going to be huge for their future. It’s going to be big for the area having a star like that to build around.”
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 28 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season, while Deron Williams finished with his third double-double in three games with the Nets with 13 points and a season-high 18 assists. His 47 total assists in the first three games is a new NBA all-time record for most assists through the first three games with a new team, breaking the record of Guy Rogers, who did it in 1966 with the Chicago Bulls with 44 assists. Williams is also the first player in Nets history to record a double-double in his first three games with the team. Anthony Morrow finished with 22 points, 10 of which were scored in the fourth quarter, and Kris Humphries added his 17th double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Travis Outlaw came off the bench to score 10 points. The Nets had three players with double-doubles for the first time in almost a year, when Lopez, Yi Jianlian and Terrence Williams accomplished it on April 9, 2010, against the Chicago Bulls.
The Suns were led by Marcin Gortat who scored 17 points and grabbed 5 rebounds and Hakim Warrick, who added 16 points and 7 rebounds, both off the bench. Robin Lopez scored 14 points and Steve Nash scored 10 points while handing out 15 assists. Mickael Pietrus scored 13 points and Jared Dudley added 10 points, both also off the bench.
The Nets travel to London, England, to face the Toronto Raptors in two games Friday and Saturday.