After Chris Paul converted a pair of free throws to push the Los Angeles Clippers ahead by two points with 8.9 seconds to play against the New Jersey Nets, the sellout crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark fell silent. It was the first lead for the Clippers since the opening minutes of the first quarter, and after trailing by 18 points to the lottery-bound Nets, it appeared that CP3 had once again delivered the game-saving play for Lob City and dealt New Jersey another crushing loss.
In a season where little had gone right, the Nets once again searched for an answer. With Brook Lopez sidelined for another three weeks with a sprained ankle and New Jersey’s All-Star point guard Deron Williams under duress for most of the game, head coach Avery Johnson hoped someone on his roster would step up. After a timeout, the Nets were looking to find someone on the backside, but CP3 (22 points, 10 assists) nearly intercepted the inbounds losing the ball out of play near halfcourt. On the ensuing inbounds, with five seconds remaining, D.Will accepted the inbounds pass and immediately faced a Clippers double-team at midcourt from Paul and Newark native Randy Foye. Everyone expected Williams to dribble hard to the basket and pull up for the last-second shot. But the unlikeliest of hero’s saved the day for the Nets.
Williams, who finished with 21 points and 10 assists, picked up his final assist on a cross-court bounce pass to a wide-open Jordan Farmar, who rose up and knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left to beat the Clippers 101-100 on Wednesday night.
“It was perfect,” said Farmar, who finished with 16 points and three assists. “They were always cheating over toward Deron and taking his space away. He had to bounce it and he bounced it in a perfect spot. I was a little deep but I wanted to make sure I saw the rim and stayed with my follow through. No doubt at all. I would have been hurt if it went out.”
“It was a huge shot,” said Williams. “[Jordan] had ice in his veins tonight.”