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Nets beat Hawks behind 35 from Williams, tie series at 2-2

NEW YORK (AP) — Deron Williams rebounded from two dismal games with 35 points, and the Brooklyn Nets pulled out a 120-115 overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, tying the series at two games apiece.

The Nets, just 38-44 in the regular season, won the second straight in the series and 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.

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 during the regular season 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 one in the 3-season history of NBA basketball in Brooklyn.

Neither team had reached 100 points in any of the first three games and the Hawks had made only 39 percent of their shots. But they were mostly back in the form that produced 60 wins in the regular season — but the Nets were just a little better.

That’s mostly because of Williams, who was 1 for 7 and 1 for 8 in the last two games, sitting out the last 16 minutes of Game 3 after hurting his tailbone and watching as the Nets seized control without him.

But he moved well and shot better Monday, making seven 3-pointers, including 4 of 4 in his fourth-quarter flurry.

He had only two free throws in overtime, capping the Nets’ run of seven straight points after Al Horford gave Atlanta its last lead, 113-111 with 1:44 remaining.

Williams is a two-time Olympic gold medalist but has battled injuries since signing a five-year, $98.5 million contract in 2012. He averaged just 13 points during the regular season, and when he followed that with a dismal start to this series, coach Lionel Hollins had to defend his point guard from criticism during practice Sunday.

Williams then saved the Nets from a 3-1 deficit with his huge fourth quarter, when he even hit a turnaround 3-pointer from well behind the arc as the shot clock was set to expire.

Millsap had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks, who had beaten the Nets six straight times this season before Brooklyn won both games here.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Horford had 17 points and seven rebounds. He returned to the locker room in the first half to have his right pinkie finger taped again. … Atlanta intentionally fouled Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee, a 49.5 percent free throw shooter during the regular season, when he entered late in the third quarter. Plumlee missed both.

Nets: The Nets improved to 4-5 in the playoffs in OT games (3-1 at home). … Owner Mikhail Prokhorov, attending from Russia, hosted a reception with about 50 season ticket-holders at halftime. He also spoke with about 50 season ticket-holders before Game 3 on Saturday.

CHANGING CLOTHES

Both teams wore different uniforms than they did Saturday, when the Nets wore their road blacks and the Hawks were in red. Brooklyn was back to the home whites Monday so the Hawks switched to their blues.

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