You know how they say the only interesting part of a basketball game is the last five minutes?
Well, tonight that rang true for the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets and then some, with an additional five minutes deciding the outcome.
The Nets captured a 103-101 overtime victory over the Hornets tonight at “The Rock” in Newark.
The Hornets continue their slump as they have now lost 6-of-7 games and will have to play 10 of their next 13 games on the road.
The game had a wild finish. Brook Lopez drew a foul with 24.3 seconds remaining and nailed both free throws giving the Nets a two-point lead.
Chris Paul came down the court and flat out dribbled into Jordan Farmar, knocking the ball out of bounds in the process.
The following events prove that the nets have yet to take the next step in playing fundamental basketball.
Devin Harris could not find anyone open on the inbound pass, and the Nets received a five second violation, giving the Hornets a chance to tie with 19.5 seconds left.
Paul drove under the hoop and kicked out to Willie Green, who just missed tying the game.
Kris Humphries flew to the ball to pull down the rebound and was fouled immediately with 4.3 seconds to go.
The game seemed in the bag for New Jersey. If Humphries made his free throws, he would have iced the game.
Humphries has done everything right for the Nets this season, so it was safe to assume that he would drain both free throws giving the Nets the victory.
However, you know what happens when you “assume.”
Humphries missed both free throws giving the Hornets one final chance with 3.5 seconds remaining.
Following the inbound, Paul drew contact from Farmar but wound up with a wide open look for a three-pointer that would have given the Hornets the win.
The ball rotated well out of Paul’s hand and seemed destined for the bottom of the net.
David West jumped for joy as the ball neared the rim, thinking he had just witnessed another CP3 buzzer-beating win.
But the ball careened off the rim which gave the Nets their 16th win of the season.
Sasha Vujacic recorded a career-high 25 points off the bench, including some big shots and assists down the stretch.
West led all scorers with 32 points for the Hornets.
New Jersey heads to Charlotte Friday night to take on the Bobcats, who hope to still have Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace by that time.
About the Author
Written by Jim Mancari
James (Jim) Mancari hails from Massapequa, NY. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA with degrees in History and Kinesiology. Jim currently is pursuing a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY). He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets' fans, Jim has plenty of hope. Jim also writes for the NJ Nets on this site. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He appreciates and respects additional opinions.