In the midst of unprecedented losing for Deron Williams, the Nets’ star point guard came up with a game to lighten the mood — mostly his mood, which has varied from depressed to surly to sarcastic to despondent. “I Love It,” he calls the team’s new philosophy, and it applies to everything. “I got five turnovers today, I love it. I love it!” Williams used as an example. “I love everything, it doesn’t matter.” And most shocking: “I love you guys (the media).” Williams said the game is rooted in sarcasm, but after the Nets’ thrilling 97-90 overtime win Wednesday over the 76ers — highlighted by Williams’ clutch performance in the fourth quarter and OT — the point guard believes it may have infiltrated the entire team’s attitude. “That’s what we’re going with . . . I think it kind of rubbed off and worked to our advantage,” Williams said, adding that he started using the phrase after Saturday’s home loss to the Thunder. “The negativity is gone,” Williams declared before leaving the locker room. “There’s no negativity!”
Williams made several of those key, game-turning plays. At the end of regulation, with the Nets down, 82-80, Williams found himself in a one-on-one mismatch with 76ers guard Thaddeus Young. He spun around Young and hit the tying layup with 1.3 seconds left to force overtime. Then, with the Nets down, 90-88 in the overtime, Williams buried a pull-up jumper from the right wing to tie the game with 1:03 left, and followed that with his emotional 3-pointer that pushed the Nets to a 93-90 lead with 26.8 seconds left. After the 76ers’ Lou Williams missed a potential tying 3-pointer on the next possession, Morrow hit four straight free throws to close it out. “This is probably one of the bigger wins that we’ve had in two years here, especially for us — we hadn’t had any success against the Sixers,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. “I’m really proud of our guys. We battled.
Colin Stephenson, The Star-Ledger — Deron Williams, Kris Humphries lead Nets over Philadelphia 76ers, 97-90, in OT
Discarded swaths of adhesive tape, gauze and bandages littered the floor in front of the lockers in the 76ers’ dimly-lit dressing room after another overtime loss at the Center on Wednesday night. Players took turns running in and out of training room where athletic trainer Kevin Johnson could have had the Sixers take a number as if he were running a deli counter. Now serving No. 21… So banged up are the Sixers that there was an extended run in the 97-90 loss to the New Jersey Nets where coach Doug Collins sent five guards onto the floor. As the biggest player of the bunch, 6-foot-6 swingman Andre Iguodala was the de facto center after power forward Elton Brand had fouled out. “You’re not going to win in the long haul playing five guards,” Collins said. Still, even though the Sixers did not have their starting center in Spencer Hawes or their top draft pick in 6-foot-11 Nik Vucevic, and considering Brand fouled out in overtime while 6-foot-8 frontline forward Thad Young took a hard fall and suffered a back contusion, it’s doubtful that there would have been a remedy for Deron Williams. The most healthy team in the world probably would not have been able to stop Williams on Wednesday night. “He was sensational,” Collins said. “He just wasn’t going to let them lose that game. He hit big shot after big shot.”
John Finger, CSN Philly — Depleted Sixers Downed In Overtime By Nets