Newly acquired All-Star point guard Deron Williams missed his first game as a member of the New Jersey Nets Wednesday to travel to Dallas for the birth of his fourth child. It was a joyous occasion for the Nets as well, as they won their third-straight game for the first time since February 7, 2009, as they defeated the Golden State Warriors, 94-90 in front of a crowd that included New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, reality television star Kim Kardashian, and WWE superstar Mick Foley.
The Nets jumped out to an early 9-point lead in the second quarter, 35-26, on a jumper by Stephen Graham, but the Warriors came back to cut the lead to two, 51-49, at the half. The Warriors would go up by as much as 6 in the third quarter, 74-68 on a jump shot by David Lee, but the Nets would win this game on strong fourth-quarter team defense, rebounding, and timely hoops from Brook Lopez.
Nets Head Coach Avery Johnson credited the defensive effort from his team for the win. “The guys stepped up to the challenge. We did a good job of containing penetration.” Nets center Brook Lopez had similar thoughts. “You have to give credit to the defense on that one.” The Nets held the seventh ranked team in scoring in the NBA, the Warriors, who averaged 102.8 coming into the game, to 90 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
Lopez led the Nets with 26 points, 12 of which were scored in the fourth quarter, and 10 rebounds, for his sixth double-double of the season. Anthony Morrow scored 22 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, while Sasha Vujacic scored 16 points. Kris Humphries recorded his 21st double-double of the season with 11 points and 15 rebounds, his fifth-straight double-double, the longest streak of his career. Humphries also added four blocks, tying his season high.
Lee led the Warriors with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Monta Ellis scored 16 points on 7-22 from the field. Stephen Curry scored 15 points, but also had a below-average shooting night, going 6-15 from the field. Dorell Wright finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds, and Reggie Williams came off the bench to score 10 points.
The Nets host Blake “The Future Great” Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers Friday at 7pm. There will be a post game concert for Gospel Night, featuring Hezekiah Walker.