Ex-Hawk Johnson powers Nets to win

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NEW YORK — 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 consecutive victory by beating the Atlanta Hawks 91-86 on Monday night.

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) defends Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in the first half of their NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in New York.  KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) defends Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in the first half of their NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in New York.

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.

Paul Millsap scored 16 points for the Hawks, who lost their third in a row to equal their worst stretch of the season. Jeff Teague also had 16 but shot 5 of 15 from the field.

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 today.

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 consecutive 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.

CLIPPERS: Point guard Chris Paul says he’s ready to attack his rehab for his separated right shoulder and is looking forward to his return to the court.

Paul is expected to miss at least six weeks after he was tripped by Mavericks guard Monta Ellis while dribbling around a screen during Friday’s 119-112 victory at Dallas.

Paul spoke publicly on Monday for the first time since the injury. He says he wants to play, but he’s done feeling sorry for himself.

The six-time All-Star, who shoots right-handed, is averaging 18.5 points and 9.8 assists during his three seasons with the Clippers.

RESCHEDULED: The game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves that was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City on Dec. 4 will now be played in Minnesota on April 8.

The league made the announcement on Monday. The game was postponed in December when a generator malfunctioned and filled the arena in Mexico City with smoke about 45 minutes before tipoff.

The contest was part of
the NBA’s ongoing efforts to increase the league’s international reach.

But logistics and scheduling prevented the league from replaying the game in Mexico City.

The Timberwolves were giving up a home game to be a part of the event, so the league moved the game back to Target Center.

MAVERICK: Recalled rookie swingman Ricky Ledo from the Texas Legends, of the NBA Development League.

In 14 D-League games, the 6-foot-7 Ledo averaged 14.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and about 30 minutes.


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