Joe Johnson scores 37 as Nets thrash 76ers
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Kevin Garnett could appreciate Joe Johnson's torrid performance, even if it mirrored an outing or two that's caught his eye over the years.
"I've been in the league since like, Moses, man," Garnett said after watching Johnson score 37 points. "It's not too much I ain't seen."
Deron Williams mentioned that he had seen Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki drop 30 points on the Jazz when Williams played for Utah. Then his brain processed the information that had been delivered to him just seconds earlier.
"He had 29 in the quarter?" Williams said, his eyes growing wide. "Oh my God."
Fighting off an illness after missing practice 24 hours earlier, Johnson scored 29 points in the third quarter -- the most he's ever scored in one period -- and made a career-high 10 three-pointers to power the Nets to a 130-94 victory over the 76ers Monday night at Barclays Center.
The 10 three-pointers by Johnson, who attempted 14 shots from beyond the arc and shot 13-for-20 overall, were the most in the NBA this season and within two of the NBA's all-time mark. Johnson shot 8-for-10 from three-point range in the third quarter, tying an NBA record for most three-pointers made in a quarter.
With Johnson's offensive fireworks, the Nets (9-15) didn't miss Brook Lopez, who sat out his second straight game because of a sprained left ankle, giving Mirza Teletovic a chance to make his first career start. Johnson wasn't about to let the Nets go belly up, helping them set a franchise record with 21 three-pointers (in 35 attempts).
"I was just in the right spot a lot of times at the right time, so I just play around my teammates and they find me and I knock down shots," Johnson said. "It's just a good feeling. You catch the ball with the seams every time and you feel like every time it comes out of your hands, it's going in. I can't really explain it."
Maybe Johnson should heavily invest in whatever he took to rid himself of the sniffles. He even connected on a three-pointer as he was fouled late in the third quarter, converting a four-point play that signaled just how good he was on this night and how overmatched the 76ers (7-19) were.
"Man, I'm taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that," Johnson said of his medication. "But I'm starting to feel a little better, and this win definitely helps it."
Johnson, who played just over 30 minutes before sitting out the fourth quarter, apparently didn't want to go for the gusto, though. Nets coach Jason Kidd said he was well aware that Johnson was close to tying the record for most threes in a game, but Johnson basically tapped out. Said Kidd: "He nicely declined."
By then, with the Nets up 100-73 going into the fourth, Johnson had every right to clock out.
"I thought it was great, man," Garnett said. "Great not just for Joe but for the team morale. Seeing someone finally have a moment here and to be a part of that was dope. It was cool. It makes you feel like you are in a zone kind of, you know what I mean? And you want to do well. You want him to keep going. It was just great. It's great for the morale."