Johnson leds Nets to third consecutive win.
There were just three games on the NBA schedule on Monday night, with the Brooklyn Nets continuing their mini turn-around with a win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Since the turn of the year, the Nets are perfect after going 3-0 with Joe Johnson leading them out of their slump with 23 points against his former team on Monday.
Point guard Deron Williams sat out the game with an injury, but that didn’t effect Jason Kidd’s men who moved to 2-0 on a four-game home stretch that finishes with visits from Golden State and Miami on Wednesday and Friday respectively.
Williams will be re-evaluated on Tuesday but with Shaun Livingston providing solid play alongside some good production off the bench, the Nets looked good for their win.
They now sit in ninth spot on 13-21 for the season while Atlanta remain in third place at 18-17 in a weak Eastern Conference that could yet see big changes before the end of the regular season.
In addition, it was interesting for UK fans in particular considering these two teams are set to meet in London a week on Thursday, and while Al Horford and Brook Lopez will be missing, it is hoped D-Will can return to full fitness in time.
Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Clippers bounced back without Chris Paul to secure a comprehensive win over the Orlando Magic at the Staples Center.
DeAndre Jordan had the stat-line of the night for the hosts with 14 points and 17 rebounds along with 8 blocks, while Darren Collison added 21 points and seven assists in his second start at point guard since Paul’s injury.
“You can’t replace Chris Paul. He’s a great player in this league. I’m just going to play my game and do what I do best,” Collison told reporters after the game.
“If I go out there and make a mistake, then I make a mistake. But the one thing you can always count on is that I’m always going to play hard and try to help my team. When you’re aggressive, then you start to see the openings for your teammates and get them the ball.”
Jamal Crawford chipped in with 13 points and eight assists while Blake Griffin posted up 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists despite falling into foul trouble early.
In the third game of the night, there was no doubting who came out on top as the Minnesota Timberwolves routed the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Kevin Love had 26 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in the 126-95 win, as the T-Wolves made 16 of 26 3-pointers to put the game away in emphatic fashion.
Minnesota Timberwolves 126-95 Philadelphia 76ers
Atlanta Hawks 86-91 Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic 81-101 Los Angeles Clippers