Joe Johnson’s 10th 3-pointer was maybe the toughest, coming while being fouled in the corner, and now he had a decision.
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Settle for the best 3-point shooting night of the season, or stay on the court for the fourth quarter and a chance at history?
”I asked him, he wanted out. So he did his job,” Jason Kidd said. ”I’m not a coach that’s going to sit someone when they’re hot.”
And Johnson was sizzling.
Johnson made 10 3-pointers, most in the NBA this season, and scored a season-high 37 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 130-94 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
”My teammates kept telling me, when you catch it, just shoot it,” Johnson said.
Johnson finished 10 for 14 from behind the arc, including 8 of 10 during an incredible third-quarter shooting performance. He passed the nine 3-pointers made this season by Jeremy Lin, who also did it against the inept 76ers perimeter defense, and Stephen Curry.
Johnson scored 29 points in the third, his most in any quarter in his career. But after battling an illness the last few days and with the Nets ahead 100-73, Johnson declined the opportunity to play in the fourth quarter and chase the NBA record of 12 3-pointers held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall.
”I wasn’t worried about it,” Johnson said. ”Most importantly I wanted to try to keep guys healthy and get some of the other guys a chance to play.”
He finished 13 of 20 overall in the kind of night few players have seen — though one Net said he had.
”Not of recent, but yes, I have,” 37-year-old Kevin Garnett said. ”I’ve been in the league since like Moses. Not too much I ain’t seen.”
Deron Williams had 13 points and 13 assists for the Nets, who led by as many as 42 and won for the fourth time in five games. They did it without center Brook Lopez, but no inside game was really needed on this night when the Nets set a franchise record for 3-pointers.
Brooklyn finished 21 of 35 from behind the arc against a Philadelphia team that came in averaging 10.1 3-pointers allowed per game, a pace that would easily set an NBA record.
James Anderson scored 17 points for the 76ers, who lost their seventh straight overall and have dropped 11 in a row on the road since winning at Washington in their road opener.
The Sixers played without rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams for a seventh straight game as he deals with a skin infection.
Philadelphia surrendered 139 points Saturday to Portland, most in the NBA this season, and was nearly as defenseless in this one.
”I mean everyone is just moving the ball against us good and we kind of get broken down into a scramble, and when we scramble it is not a good thing,” Anderson said.
The Nets opened huge leads in each of the first two quarters that the Sixers cut into, but Johnson put them away for good in the third.
After blowing it open during a 42-point period, the Nets kept feeding Johnson in the closing minutes, knowing he would sit out the fourth. He hit his ninth with 53 seconds left and followed that with his final one from the corner while being fouled with 27 seconds to go.
Johnson hit 3s so quickly even the stats couldn’t keep up. The original box score after three quarters missed his final make.
”He just came out in the third and lit us up,” 76ers forward Thaddeus Young said.
The Nets get visits from Indiana and Chicago next week and have a brutal road trip to Indiana, San Antonio and Oklahoma City around the new year, but took care of the first game during a light stretch this week. They shot 60 percent overall and from behind the arc. Andray Blatche finished with 20 points.
Brooklyn scored the first seven points and led by as much as 16 in the first quarter before settling for a 32-22 lead. The second quarter was much the same; the Nets opened an 18-point lead that the Sixers chipped away at, cutting it to 58-48 at halftime.
Philadelphia has trailed by double digits in 21 of its 26 games.
NOTES: Sixers coach Brett Brown said he’s hopeful Carter-Williams can return this week. … The Nets held Lopez out for a second straight game when Kidd didn’t like the way he was moving around Monday morning. Mirza Teletovic made his first career start.