D-Will shatters records with 57 points for the Nets
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina
Deron Williams’ 57 points does not only mean a career record for the point guard, but also for the New Jersey Nets franchise history as well. AP photoDeron Williams put on a storming second half display to record an NBA-season leading 57 points and guide the New Jersey Nets to a 104-101 road victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4.
The 57-point by Williams, who started the season in Turkey playing for Beşiktaş Milangaz during the NBA lockout, is also the highest effort by the point guard as well as being the franchise record.
The point guard had made a positive start by reaching 17 points by halftime but was unstoppable after the intermission as he poured in 40 more to set a new franchise record for the Nets.
Mike Newlin and Ray Williams had shared the previous mark with 52 points.
“Fifty points is a big deal, but if you lose and have 50 it really doesn’t matter, so I’m glad we got the win,” Williams told reporters. “When you’re hot you kind of have to go with it. I was able to create my own offense.”
Williams made 16-of-29 shots from the field and was successful with all 21 of his free throw attempts. He also added seven assists and six rebounds.
The Nets had fallen 16 points adrift of the hosts in the first half but were brought to life by Williams, who carried them into the lead with 22 points in the third quarter alone.
Williams was surprised when a teammate told him he had 39 points at the end of the third quarter, three shy of his personal career-best set April 6, 2010, against Oklahoma City.
“You really don’t pay attention to it,” Williams was quoted as saying on the official NBA website. “It’s just one of those games where you start feeling good and let it go.”
Coach Avery Johnson called Williams’ effort unbelievable.
“He really was focused,” Johnson said. “He was well-rested. He made a lot of shots yesterday in our mini-practice and it carried over into tonight’s game. We were going back and forth on whether to have a shootaround this morning and we opted for rest. And he was pretty fresh.”
Added teammate Sheldon Williams: “When someone is hitting like that you want to keep going to the well until it runs dry. It never did tonight.”
However, not all went right for the Nets on this night as starting center Brook Lopez rolled his right ankle and left the locker room on crutches.
Lopez, who made his season debut on Feb. 19 after missing the Nets’ first 32 games while recovering from a broken right foot, had an X-ray but will be reevaluated on Monday, according to Johnson.
“It’s a tough situation for him, especially coming back from the foot situation,” Johnson said. “We’re going to get him checked out tomorrow. We’ll know more when we find out.”
Afterward, Bobcats coach Paul Silas wasn’t apologizing for his team’s approach to defending Williams with one man.
“You can do one of two things: you can try to stop him and double him and leave other players wide open or guard everybody,” Silas said. “I thought that’s mainly what kept us in the game. Nobody else was doing anything (for them). It gave us a chance.”