Thanks to a big late bucket by Deron Williams, the Brooklyn Nets remained undefeated against the defending NBA Champion this season.
In a thrilling Monday night win at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn delivered a message to the entire Eastern Conference: It won't be easy coming in here in the playoffs.
By picking up their fourth straight win in Game 59 of the season on Wednesday night, Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets accomplished something that they had yet to do in the 2013-2014 season.
For the first time all year, the Nets pulled their record up over the .500 mark.
Brooklyn took the lead from the jump and never looked back on the way to a 103-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Deron finished with 16 points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds, and the Nets were +29 with their star point guard on the floor.
What a difference a day makes.
The day after a 44-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Brooklyn Nets did something uncommon: they watched the tape.
In many cases, a loss of that variety will be dispatched immediately, the tape "burned," as they say. But the Nets weren't interested in ignoring the result. They wanted to find out why it happened. According to Deron Williams, that session motivated he and his teammates going into Thursday night's game in Denver.
After a tight first half in their final home game before the All-Star break, Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets found another gear in the second half on Wednesday night.
D-Will tallied seven of his 13 points and four of his seven assists in the third quarter, as the Nets outscored the Bobcats 35-19 in the third frame, on the way to a 105-89 victory.
Back in the starting lineup on his home floor for the first time in a month, Deron Williams didn't waste an opportunity to get his team back on the winning track.
D-Will scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half while playing all but three of the game's final 24 minutes to lead the Nets to a 108-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
USA Basketball finalized its roster on Thursday for the 2014-2016 U.S. Men's National Team and Deron Williams is once again on Team USA's short list.
Deron is one of 28 players selected for the U.S. Men's National Team pool from which USA Basketball will draw teams for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
When the Brooklyn Nets returned from a trip over the pond to play in London, Deron Williams approached his coach Jason Kidd with a thought:
"I want to come off the bench," Deron told his coach.