Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds as the Los Angeles Lakers best the Brooklyn Nets, 99-94, from Barclays Center.
Brooklyn trailed by 27 points early in the contest and never led but rallied to tie the score after Mirza Teletovic’s career-high 17 point effort. Teletovic blocked Lakers’ Wesley Johnson at the rim and scored four straight points plus a 3 pointer, hitting half his free throws to even the score at 92 a piece with just under four minutes on the clock.
The Lakers recaptured the lead with Johnson’s steal and breakaway dunk with 1:33 left to play, and Brooklyn missed four shots in a row until Alan Anderson’s dunk cut it to 95-94 with 10 seconds remaining.
Nick Young led the Lakers with a season-high 26 points off the bench. Pau Gasol netted 21 points while Steve Blake dished out 10 assists.
“I thought Nick Young hit some huge shots,” Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He played really well to kind of get us out of our funk.”
Joe Johnson carried Brooklyn with 18 points. Pierce scored 12 but struggled with his shooting, making 4-of-17 from the field.
“It’s frustrating when the ball doesn’t go your way, but eventually I know these shots throughout the course of 82 games are going to fall for me,” Pierce said.
Right before halftime The Nets came out of a timeout with a 15-0 run however, the shooting was off and the Lakers took a 54-40 lead into the locker rooms.
Pierce scored 10 in the third and his layup in the final minute had the Nets within single digits heading into the final period. Teletovic opened the fourth with a triple, and Brooklyn was competitive the rest of the way.
The Nets haven’t beaten LA since Nov. 27, 2007, when current head coach Jason Kidd had on a jersey and scored 15 points and handed out 14 assists.