Johnson scores 23 as Nets win third straight
NEW YORK—Joe Johnson broke out of a slump with 23 points against his former team as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks 91-86 on Monday (New York time) for their third straight victory.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended the Philadelphia 76ers’ four-game winning streak with a 126-95 victory and the Los Angeles Clippers, playing without the injured Chris Paul, routed the Orlando Magic 101-81.
Bosnian star 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 a four-game home stand 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 December 7 to 12.
Paul Millsap scored 16 points for the Hawks, who lost their third in a row to equal their worst stretch of the season.
The teams meet again on January 16 in London in what’s considered a home game for the Hawks.
Minnesota’s Kevin Love scored 16 of his 26 points in a dominant third quarter and Nikola Pekovic had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves.
Kevin Martin scored 18 points and Corey Brewer had 15 to help the Timberwolves move back to .500 (17-17).
Thaddeus Young scored 20 points for the Sixers, who had won the final four games of a six-game road trip.
The Clippers, meanwhile, enjoyed one of their best defensive efforts of the season after surrendering 70 first-half points in each of their previous two games against Dallas and San Antonio.
Darren Collison scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and had seven assists in his second start at point guard since Paul separated his right shoulder in Friday’s win at Dallas. He is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.
Blake Griffin had 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and DeAndre Jordan added 17 rebounds and 14 points.