As one of the disappointing cornerstones of the Brooklyn Nets, Joe Johnson has received his fair share of negative criticism this season, and not just after being dragged into ridiculous arguments about LeBron James. Yet, despite his 42.7 percent mark from the field and a PER of 14.6, Johnson has had a flair for the dramatic in his first season as a Net, hitting several game-winners to help the team to a 32-22 record. If nothing else, he's made sure that a few of his less-than-stellar games haven't ended in defeat.
On Tuesday night, Johnson added two more big shots to that ledger. With the Nets down 105-102 to the Milwaukee Bucks and 6.7 seconds left on the clock, Johnson threw an inbounds pass to Deron Williams, ran off a Reggie Evans screen around the free throw line, and received the pass back from Williams at the top of the three-point arc. He elevated for the shot in time to beat a late-closing Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and tied the game with 1.3 seconds left. With no timeouts, the Bucks' Brandon Jennings could only manage a desperation heave at the buzzer, and the two teams went to overtime.
Johnson wasn't finished. After the jump, check out his OT buzzer-beater to give the Nets the win.
With 5.2 seconds left and the game tied at 111-111, Johnson took the inbounds pass, made a quick crossover on Mbah a Moute, and pulled up for a mid-range jumper to give the Nets the 113-111 win. It's a familiar situation, both for any end-of-game situation in the NBA and for a player who's become known for playing in isolation.
While Johnson has had his fair share of poor shooting games this season, this was not one of them: he went 10-of-18 from the field and 3-of-5 on three-pointers for 24 points to lead five Nets in double figures. Any concerns about this shot selection and long-term viability in Brooklyn — and the Nets' search for a new star — were put aside for at least a few moments.