Deron Williams finally misses a free throw
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Gerald Wallace kept yelling Deron Williams' name, trying to get the point guard to come out of a back area inside the visitor's locker room at the Garden.
"He missed that one that would have iced the game," Wallace said. "Yeah, man. He's trippin', man."
Wallace was poking fun at Williams for finally missing a free throw. Before that one rattled out in the final seconds, Williams had made 52 in a row, including two with 8.3 seconds left to give the Nets an 87-84 lead.
"I'm still mad about the one I missed," Williams said. "That was good. It felt good, looked good, but it went out."
Don't believe for a second, either, that he wasn't thinking about the streak while he was at the line.
"Yeah," he said, "it's hard not to."
Smith: Nets play for P.J.J.R. Smith sees a big difference in these Nets compared with how they looked when the teams met Dec. 19 at the Garden. The Nets, of course, have changed coaches since then, firing Avery Johnson on Dec. 27 and replacing him with P.J. Carlesimo.
"Honestly, I just think the players want to play for P.J. more," Smith said. "They seem more enthused . . . Once you feel confident in the coach, that's the best thing ever."
Road trippersMonday's matchup was the first of a four-game road swing for the Nets that will take them from the East Coast to the Midwest to the South. They have dates with Minnesota, Memphis and Houston the rest of the week.