To say he was hot as fish grease, well, that might have been an understatement.
In a matter of minutes, five to be exact, Deron Williams had gone up on the Wizards 18-2 all by himself. That's right, Williams dropped six-straight threes on the Wizards before they could even blink.
When all was said and done in the first quarter, Williams had made all seven of this three-point attempts and scored 23 points to the Wizards 14.
"I made the first couple," Williams said of his hot-hand early, "those shots where when they leave your hand, they feel like they're good, so I just kept shooting."
He shot the ball to the tune of 15-of-24 from the floor, having made 11-of-16 threes for a game-high 42 points. He made nine threes in the first half which set an NBA record for most threes in a half, and his 11 threes were good enough for a team record for most threes in a game.
At halftime, Williams had 33 points, equaling the total number of points the Wizards had as a team.
"He had a rhythm," Wizards guard Martell Webster said of Williams. "When you are hot it does not matter where you are shooting the ball from… We tried to contest his shot."
The Wizards had John Wall take the first crack at trying to keep Williams in check, and he couldn't. They then went to Trevor Ariza, who stuck to Williams from the moment he crossed the half-court line. That didn't work either.
"He was just hot," Wall said of his attempt to check Williams. "We were not making shots and he was just shooting the ball in transition. He had good looks off the offensive rebounds. He found a good rhythm in transition and was just feeling himself."
The feeling Williams had was something he couldn't explain. And, no, he couldn't anticipate it; it wasn't something he "felt in warmups."
"I've had games where I couldn't miss in warmups," Williams explained, "and then came out and couldn't hit anything." And visa versa.
Teammate Keith Bogans, whose locker is right next to Williams', didn't see anything different from D-Will prior to the game.
"It was the same routine," Bogans said. "He didn't do anything different before the game."
Maybe it was the cortisone shots in his ankles? Maybe it was the juice detox? Heck, it might have even been the shoes?
Williams, who has had problems with his ankles for most of the season and who at times has been criticized for being "overweight," made a few changes over the last week or so, including a juice detox.
A minor change he made, prior to last night's tip, was his wearing a higher-top sneaker, as opposed to the low-tops he typically wears. So it was the shoes, right? Well, no, not so fast.
"I blew out two pairs during the game," Williams said of his new high-tops. "I had to switch shoes at halftime," he explained, after the soles of his shoes had been completely blown out. And even after the game he said he wasn't sure he'd commit to wearing these shoes again, despite his record-breaking performance.
It wasn't the shoes, it wasn't the juice and it wasn't the cortisone shots. So what was it?
"I don't know," he said. "I was just hot… I knew how bad we needed a win at home, so I needed to come out aggressive."
He then smiled and said, "I didn't know I was going to be that aggressive."
The "heat check" got so hot, to the point where both he and his teammates didn't think he shot the ball enough. Would you call it as "hot as fish grease?"
"You could say that," Williams said.
Not to be forgotten in all of this was the performance of Reggie Evans, who was the team's second leading scorer with 11 points, despite the fact that he missed 11 free throws -- including six straight down the stretch when the Wizards put their "hack-a-Reggie" gameplan into place.
Along with the 11 points, Evans pulled down 24 rebounds, one shy of a Nets' franchise record for most rebounds in regulation (the actual record is 27 rebounds, but that was in a four-overtime game), and an all-around hustle performance on both sides of the ball. It got to the point where Williams, who scored just nine points in the second half, had to step aside and let Evans bask in all the Barclays glory.
"It was exciting," Evans said of the crowd's energy and them chanting his name as he helped put the Wizards away in the fourth quarter.
"I was enjoying the moment…. I was just really excited. We've been letting our fans down at home so we just wanted to come out and be aggressive."
And of his poor free-throw shooting? Well, he knew the fans were on his side.
"They know I'm a poor free-throw shooter," Evans acknowledged, but he appreciated them lifting his spirits, miss after miss. "It's almost like instead of knocking a person down you may as well pick him up because at the end of the day you want to win."
"I was just thinking about calming him down," Williams said as he watched Evans continually step to the line down the stretch. "It's a tough place to be when they are fouling you intentionally."
It didn't bother Carlesimo either, who said of the hack-a-Reggie approach, "If he has 11 points and 24 rebounds, yeah he's probably going to be out there."
For the Nets it was Williams and Evans who carried them -- a hero per half -- to a victory that almost made you forget they shot just 39.5 percent from the floor, turned the ball over 18 times -- 84 times overall in their last four games -- and beat a team that has just five road wins on the season.
But a win is a win, and that's what mattered most to Williams on this record-breaking evening.
"Records are good," he said, "good stories to tell your kids and grandkids when you're older, but I'm just happy we won."
And Friday night was certainly one of those nights. One he'll be able to tell his grandkids about, one day.