For just the 3rd time this season, the Brooklyn Nets won a game in which they trailed by double-digits. And, wow, was it a comeback for the ages.
The Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets took us on a wild ride Wednesday night, part roller coaster and part thrill show, before the Nets came away with an inexplicable 145-142 overtime victory at Toyota Center.
It was just the third time this season the Nets (23-23) won a game in which they trailed by at least 10 points, but the second this month. Brooklyn was down 14 with 5:34 remaining in regulation before unleashing a 30-point blitz to force overtime.
They are now 3-17 when trailing by 10 points or more in a game. It was also, however, their 14th straight victory in a game in which they led by at least 10 points (did I mention roller coasters?).
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The Nets were up 34-19 in the first quarter, but the Rockets (25-19) roared back, with the Nets last lead in regulation erased on P.J. Tucker‘s putback with 7:29 to go in the third quarter. Brooklyn would not lead again until Spencer Dinwiddie‘s three-point play with 28 seconds left in overtime.
The Nets are now 22-8 in games in which they have held a lead of at least 10 points after losing eight of their first 16 such games, including four during their eight-game losing streak in late November and early December.
Just for fun, the Nets are 3-2 in games in which they have both led and trailed by at least 10 points, doing so previously on Oct. 17 (loss) and Oct. 31 (win) against the Detroit Pistons, a Nov. 28 loss to the Utah Jazz and a Jan. 9 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Nets played 10 players on Wednesday, getting back Rondae Hollis-Jefferson after he had missed seven games with an adductor injury and Shabazz Napier, who sat out Monday’s win over the Boston Celtics with tightness in his right hamstring.
Bernard King did it twice while with the New York Knicks during the 1984-85 season (including a 60-point game on Christmas Day), Purvis Short of the Golden State Warriors had a 59-point game in a Nov. 17, 1984, loss and Calvin Murphy of the Rockets scored 57 in a loss to the Nets on March 18, 1978.
Brooklyn surrendered an NBA-record 70 3-point attempts, as the Rockets broke their own mark of 61 set against the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 16, 2016, and the teams combined to post their first game in NBA history with at least 100 3-pointers fired (106 in all), shattering the old mark of 94 set by (who else?) the Rockets and Chicago Bulls on March 27, 2018.
Of the 10 games with the most 3-pointers attempted by one team, the Rockets are on the list seven times, all since the December 2016 game against New Orleans. The Nets now have the third-most attempts in a game with 59 in a double-overtime loss to the Pelicans on Feb. 10, 2018.
Defensively, the key for the Nets was completely selling out on Harden, who did not take a shot over the final 1:58 of overtime. After Brooklyn took the lead, the Nets opted to double-team Harden 35 feet from the basket and give up a wide-open 3 to Austin Rivers — who missed (did I mention thrill show?).
With the victory, the Nets climbed back to the .500 mark for the first time since they were 6-6 on Nov. 9 and moved ahead of the Miami Heat (21-21) into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
The teams have split their first two meetings, but Brooklyn moves ahead based on their 16-12 record in conference play, compared to Miami’s 11-15 mark against the East.
The Nets have been at .500 four times this season (also at 1-1 and 2-2), but can get over the break-even mark for the first time Friday with a win over the Orlando Magic (19-25) in the second game of this two-game road trip.
Here are the player grades from a wild win at Houston.