The Nets haven’t offered much to cheer about this season, but even owner Mikhail Prokhorov flung his arms into the air and screamed from his luxury suite at the end of Monday’s game at Barclays Center.
One day after downing the Knicks – perhaps the final dagger in Derek Fisher’s coaching tenure – the Nuggets overcame a 16-point deficit to take a two-point lead with 1.3 seconds remaining. But Joe Johnson beat the final horn, banking in three-pointer from the top of the key to vault the Nets to a 105-104 victory, just their fourth win in 20 games.
“Joe Cool,” Prokhorov said with a smile on his way out of the arena. “As usual.”
Former Knick Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 24 points and Kenneth Faried added 22, including the go-ahead runner in the paint with 1.3 seconds remaining to set up Johnson’s heroics off a sideline inbounds pass from Markel Brown.
“I don’t know if he called bank on that, but we’ll count it anyway,” Brook Lopez said.
“I was able to take a dribble, and man, I don’t even know how it went in,” Johnson said. “It was fun. Obviously, we’ve had a tough season, but to get some excitement out of a game was very exciting for the fans.
“Man, we needed that one big. It was great to get some excitement off a dramatic win like that.”
Especially for Prokhorov, who finally is beginning to formally interview GM candidates nearly one month after Billy King was reassigned and coach Lionel Hollins was fired on Jan. 10.
Prokhorov arrived back in Brooklyn to take part in the process this week along with his search committee, with Denver assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas among the first to be granted an interview while the Nuggets were in town.
Nets rookie Chris McCullogh makes his NBA debut on Monday.
Former Phoenix and Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo, former Atlanta GM Danny Ferry, Nets assistant GM Frank Zanin and Houston assistant GM Gersson Rosas also are among those expected to be interviewed for the opening to replace King, who still is serving as an advisor to Prokhorov. The owner said he’ll be in town at least through Wednesday’s game against Memphis.
“It’s not bad,” Prokhorov said of the process, before joking to a reporter when asked for specifics.
“Joe Cool,” he said, “please be cool.”
Chris McCullough, the Nets’ 2015 first-round pick (29th overall), made his NBA debut barely one year after undergoing ACL surgery while a freshman at Syracuse. The Bronx-born power forward finished with two points and two rebounds in 11 minutes in his first game appearance since Jan. 11, 2015. “It just felt good to get out there and get my first win… The way it
ended was good,” McCullough said…Brown had a career-high 19 points off the bench.
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