Thursday, January 9
NEW YORK (AP) — The Road Warriors' run is over. The Brooklyn Nets are suddenly the NBA's hottest team.
Joe Johnson scored 27 points in the Nets' season-high fourth straight victory, a 102-98 win Wednesday night that snapped Golden State's 10-game winning streak and prevented the first 7-0 road trip in NBA history.
Kevin Garnett scored 11 of his 13 points, one of his best efforts in a Brooklyn uniform, in the final quarter and stole Stephen Curry's pass with the Warriors down three with 12 seconds left as the Nets overcame an early 16-point hole.
"They came out and gave us a big blow in the first quarter. I thought we kept our composure and then fought back," said Garnett, who was in double figures for just the sixth time this season.
"That's a very good team that we played tonight and a very good team that we beat tonight."
Shaun Livingston made the tiebreaking free throw with 1:12 left when he appeared to get away with hooking Curry, then Johnson made four in a row for just enough breathing room to allow the Nets to remain unbeaten in 2014 and climb into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Curry scored 34 points for the Warriors, who were bidding for a franchise-record 11th consecutive victory overall and the first unbeaten road trip of seven or more games in NBA history. But they didn't make a field goal after Klay Thompson's 3-pointer with 4:07 remaining that gave them a 93-89 lead until Curry's jumper with 5.8 seconds to go.
"Certainly a tough loss," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "Disappointed that we did not finish it the right way. Give them credit. It was a great job by them, but we will not lose sight of the fact that we were 6-1 on this road trip."
Brooklyn scored nine straight points after Thompson's basket as fans stood across the final minutes of one of the Nets' most spirited efforts of the season — some taunting director and Knicks fan Spike Lee, who sat courtside wearing a hat in the Nets' black-and-white colors but read "KNICKS."
"We got down, but we didn't give in," said Andray Blatche, who had 17 points off the bench. "We continued to fight and we closed it out."
Livingston finished with 13 points for the Nets, playing without point guard Deron Williams after he underwent treatment for both ankles this week. They will try to wrap up a perfect homestand Friday against Miami.
The Nets snapped a winning streak of 10 or more games for the third time in their NBA history, having ended Detroit's 11-game run on Jan. 31, 2006, and the SuperSonics' 12-game streak on Nov. 21, 1982, in Seattle.
David Lee scored 20 points for the Warriors, who ran out of gas just shy of the record books and had to settle for their second 6-1 road trip in the last two years.
Their trip started on Dec. 29 in Cleveland, and included an impressive victory at Miami, but perhaps left the Warriors with too little left after a 101-80 win at Milwaukee on Tuesday.
"It's a long road trip, but you can't let that be an excuse for how the game ended," Curry said. "We've got to find a way to win."
Golden State made its first four 3-pointers in racing to a 20-10 lead, and it was 32-16 after Harrison Barnes' 3-pointer made the Warriors 13 of 17 from the field and 5 of 6 behind the arc.
But Mirza Teletovic and Johnson hit 3s before the period ended and the Nets forced Golden State to miss six straight shots to generate some momentum. Brooklyn then surged ahead late in the second with a 14-4 run, and brought a 59-52 lead to the locker room on Teletovic's 3 that beat the buzzer.
"We just kept playing," Livingston said. "I think we locked in. I mean, we were playing good D. They hit some shots, they came out guns blazing."
Livingston's dunk gave Brooklyn a 67-56 lead with 6:46 left in the third, but the Nets managed just eight free throws the rest of the period. Barnes' 3-pointer with 32 seconds left gave the Warriors a 76-75 lead to take to the fourth.
Notes: The Nets won for the first time in seven games on Wednesdays this season. ... Jackson was born in Brooklyn, while Nets coach Jason Kidd grew up in the Bay Area and used to attend Golden State games. Kidd called Jackson, also a former point guard who became an NBA head coach without any coaching experience, a "role model" and both said they have talked during the season as Kidd makes that transition now.
Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney