EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Joe Johnson found himself in an unfamiliar place in the final moments of regulation in the Nets' 108-100 overtime loss to the Suns on Friday night: the bench.

Even though he often hasn't been the one hoisting potential game-deciding shots this season -- Jarrett Jack holds that distinction -- Johnson admittedly was a bit perplexed that his presence wasn't needed in some capacity.

He was powerless to prevent the Nets from blowing a 15-point lead in the final 5:45 of the fourth quarter, and he was watching from the sideline -- not far from coach Lionel Hollins -- as Jack's last-second shot caromed off the rim.

"Just from not even being on the floor, being a decoy, yeah, that was a little different," Johnson said after practice Saturday. " . . . I mean, it may have been a little puzzling, but it wasn't to the point where I was [ticked] or I thought he made a bad decision."

Johnson said there's no hard feelings, and Hollins explained to the team why he went with a lineup featuring Jack, Deron Williams, Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson.

Several things played into the Nets' second straight rough loss as they attempt to make a playoff push, but some inquiring minds remain focused on Hollins' exclusion of Johnson and Brook Lopez.

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"I knew Jarrett was going to shoot the ball," Hollins said. "It doesn't matter. We could have put four people in [from] the stands. Jarrett was going to shoot the ball. If I run a pick-and-roll for Jarrett, he's going to shoot the ball. And he got a good shot and he missed it. It went in and out."

Fighting through tendinitis in his right knee and left ankle, Johnson simply hasn't been his usual go-to self this season. He's logged 36,546 minutes in 956 games since 2003-04 -- a number second only to LeBron James' 41,916 in 1,053 games -- and it's a challenge to keep himself completely refreshed.

"Obviously, a lot of minutes take a toll on you, but we all envisioned this team being pretty deep so guys won't have to log 40, 45 minutes," Johnson said. "And obviously, injuries happen. I had a stretch where I was playing at least 42, 44 minutes a night. It just happens. But it's no gripe on my part. I try to do whatever I can to help this team win, but it takes its toll on you."