Hawks > Nets, Williams Even Series at 2-2

| April 28, 2015

hawks nets 042715

NEW YORK — Deron Williams finally delivered the game that’s expected of him, and he wasn’t going to let the Nets lose it.

And after he finished carrying them into a 2-2 tie with the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed, the guy who had been being beaten up physically on the court and by fans and media off it knew how important his performance was.

“We really needed to get this one to stay in the series,” he said, “and so it was definitely one of my better games this year for sure and probably as a Net.”

Dogged by criticism throughout the season, Deron Williams responded in a big way to lift the Nets to a series tie.

Williams rebounded from two dismal games by tying a playoff career high with 35 points, and Brooklyn pulled out a 120-115 overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night in Game 4.

The Nets, just 38-44 in the regular season, moved two victories from becoming the sixth No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 — only the fourth since the first round became best-of-seven.

“This is what the playoffs are all about. What we expect is to be challenged, and this is a great challenge for us,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Bojan Bogdanovic made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:25 left in overtime but the Nets never would have gotten there without Williams, whose 16 points in the fourth quarter were two fewer than he had total in the first three games of the series.

Brook Lopez had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets.

Jeff Teague had 20 points and 11 assists, and DeMarre Carroll added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks, who host Game 5 on Wednesday.

Kyle Korver had 16 points and 11 rebounds, but the NBA’s leading 3-point shooter missed three straight from behind the arc in the final seconds with the Hawks trailing by three.

The Nets finally got the rebound and former Hawks star Joe Johnson closed it out with two free throws, ending what was by far the best game of the series and perhaps the most memorable.

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