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Joe Johnson beats the clock with All-Star selection

The Atlanta Hawks' Louis Williams defends Joe Johnson

The Atlanta Hawks' Louis Williams defends Joe Johnson at the O2 Arena in London. (Jan. 16, 2014) Credit: Getty Images

Joe Johnson was in a deep slumber, probably counting sheep and anything else to keep him from waking from his late-evening nap.

So when the All-Star reserve selections were announced Thursday night, Johnson was unaware for the longest time that he had been picked by the coaches to join the rest of the East squad in New Orleans next month.

"I wasn't expecting it, honestly," Johnson said before the Nets' 120-95 loss to the Thunder Friday night at Barclays Center. "I didn't even get a chance to watch it. I was actually asleep. And I found out about an hour, an hour and a half later. But I'm happy and I enjoy it. Every time I've been, I've had a great time and I really enjoyed the whole weekend."

Kevin Durant had 26 points for the Thunder, and his streak of consecutive games with at least 30 points ended at 12. Serge Ibaka added 25. Shaun Livingston had 16 for the Nets.

The very team Johnson and the Nets played Friday night already had been victimized by Johnson at the buzzer Jan. 2. His 19-foot winner helped propel the Nets on their current stretch, in which they have won 10 of 13 in January.

Johnson is set for his sixth All-Star appearance (seventh selection), but if you think some of the luster is wearing off, guess again. "It never gets old, man," he said. "Ask guys like KG and Paul Pierce, who have been All-Stars for 15, 16, 17 years. It never gets old because it's kind of a time when you can rest, but you also get to see a different side of guys who you compete against, so it's always fun.

"To get selected by the coaches means that much more. It kind of just shows where we've come from as a team. This is a tribute to the coaching staff, the players, the whole Nets organization, because just a month ago, this couldn't have happened."

Johnson is one of three players who have knocked down multiple buzzer-beaters this season, along with Philadelphia's Evan Turner and Golden State's Andre Iguodala. Johnson and Kevin Durant are the only players to post at least 25 points in a half three times in 2013-14. He's also one of two players to drain at least eight three-pointers twice this season, joining Golden State's Stephen Curry. It's that kind of resume that likely led coaches to tab Johnson, who entered the night averaging 15.7 points.

"I think it's well-deserved," Jason Kidd said. "Joe has been consistent for us all year. He's stepped up big for us when things were tough. He got everybody on his back and carried the team, and the team wanted Joe to step up and he did."

Notes & quotes: Andrei Kirilenko (right calf) sat out Friday night. Kidd suggested the Nets were being cautious with Kirilenko, who's missed 26 games this season fighting through back spasms. "We'll see how he feels [Saturday]," Kidd said. "It's not that we're concerned . . . We're going on the safer side of sitting him out tonight and seeing how he feels tomorrow." . . . Deron Williams came off the bench for the sixth straight game.

New York Sports