It was almost over. The Nets trailed 65-53 with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter, down to a 25-win team missing its best player. Their offensive attack was one-punch-and-fire, their defense discombobulated. It looked like the Nets would slink quietly into the night, seal their own coffin, and head home for the summer.
But everything clicked at the right time. Bojan Bogdanovic started hitting open threes and mid-range jumpers. Thaddeus Young cleaned the glass. Joe Johnson hit all the right shots. The Magic couldn’t counter, falling apart in the fourth quarter, and the Nets finished off an inferior team.
The Nets finish the season 38-44.
Now they just have to root for the Grizzlies — a Pacers loss, and they’re in the playoffs.
UPDATE: They got it.
An oddly quiet part of the team’s attack tonight — was involved in a few pick-and-rolls early, but otherwise took a backseat to their perimeter shooting. Struggled with defending Nikola Vucevic as the Magic built their initial lead.