Nets beat Hawks, match season high with third straight win
NEW YORK (AP)
Joe Johnson snapped out of a slump with 23 points against his former team, and the Brooklyn Nets matched a season high with their third straight victory by beating the Atlanta Hawks 91-86 on Monday night.
Mirza Teletovic scored 16 points and Alan Anderson added 14 starting in place of the injured Deron Williams as the Nets moved to 2-0 on four-game homestand that finishes with visits from Golden State on Wednesday and Miami on Friday.
Despite yet another injury to a key player, the Nets look ready to test themselves against those powerful teams after matching their three consecutive victories from Dec. 7-12.
Williams missed his 12th game this season after his ankle swelled Sunday. He had an MRI exam Monday that revealed the injury and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
But the Nets got solid guard play from Shaun Livingston, who scored 12, and more importantly some clutch play from Johnson, who had been held in single digits in five straight games for the first time in 11 years.
He finished 10 of 22, making the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:21 remaining.
The Hawks rebounded from a dreadful start to the second half to grab a 78-77 lead on DeMarre Carroll's dunk with 6:38 left in the game. Johnson answered with a 3-pointer on the next possession, Livingston had a steal and dunk, and Johnson nailed another jumper to cap the run of seven straight points and make it 84-78 with 3:37 to go.
Johnson, traded to the Nets in the summer of 2012, made another jumper with 2:12 left, then made a huge play after Atlanta had trimmed it to two, finding Teletovic in the corner for a 3-pointer and 89-84 lead with 44 seconds remaining.
The teams meet again on Jan. 16 in London in what's considered a home game for the Hawks.
Kyle Korver needed little time to extend his NBA-record streak with a 3-pointer to 104 games, hitting with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter.
The Nets led most of the first half and were ahead by five with 3:25 remaining, but the Hawks scored the final 11 points, capped by Millsap's 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, to take a 52-46 advantage.
But the Nets stormed out with the first 14 of the third quarter to regain the lead. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer angrily knocked his clipboard onto the court while reaching for it after calling one timeout, then was hit with a technical foul on a subsequent possession after redirecting his rage from his players to the referees.
Anderson made a jumper and then consecutive 3-pointers to cap the spurt and make it 60-52. The Hawks didn't make their first field goal of the half until 5:41 remained, and the Nets led 72-67 after three following three 3-pointers by Teletovic late in the period.
Notes: Because of Williams' injury, the Nets recalled Tyshawn Taylor from Springfield of the NBA Development League, hours after they'd assigned him. He had traveled to Springfield after practice Sunday and was on the floor getting ready to scrimmage Monday when he was summoned to return, taking about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to return from Massachusetts and arriving at the arena shortly before 5 p.m. He did not play. ... Singer Rihanna was at the game, seated next to the Nets' bench.