Nets forward Cameron Johnson dribbles the ball upcourt against the...

Nets forward Cameron Johnson dribbles the ball upcourt against the Hawks in the first half of an NBA game at Barclays Center on Thursday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Nets understood the stakes of Thursday’s game against the Hawks. The question was, would they play like it after a disappointing four-game road trip?

Cam Johnson and Dennis Schroder met the challenge, and the Nets followed their lead in a 124-97 win at Barclays Center. The teams will meet again Saturday afternoon.

The Nets (23-36) are three games behind the Hawks (26-33) for 10th place in the Eastern Conference, the final play-in tournament spot.

Johnson had a season-high 29 points and sank a season-high seven three-pointers in 11 attempts. Schroder added 23 points and hit five three-pointers, tying a season high. He also had eight rebounds and seven assists.

The duo combined for a 9-0 third-quarter run that put the game out of reach.

The Nets (23-36) led 74-63 after the Hawks’ Jalen Johnson made a three-pointer. But Schroder made a three on the Nets’ next possession to push the lead to 77-63 with 6:01 left in the third.

Johnson, making his second start after coming off the bench the previous three games, followed with a three-point play and Schroder added another three to push the lead to 20.

Johnson and Schroder had 11 points each to fuel a 38-point Nets third quarter.

“All you’re looking for is rhythm and feel of the game,” Johnson said. “Any time you’re in your comfortable spaces, your comfortable roles, it slows the game down for you and you’re able to process quicker, more efficiently, and sometimes good results follow that.”

It was the scoring help needed with Mikal Bridges struggling the last four games. Bridges bounced back with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Johnson, who had gone 5-for-23 on three-pointers in the previous five games, opened the game 3-for-3 from long range in the first three minutes. It helped the Nets take an 18-4 lead, and they led 34-16 after the first period.

Johnson finished the first half with five three-pointers, including one that gave the Nets a 51-40 lead.

“We talked when I made the decision and he was just a professional. He was just like, ‘What I can do to help our team,’ ” interim coach Kevin Ollie said of Johnson coming off the bench. “We had a great talk and he just accepted his role, and that’s what happens when you’re a good steward over the minutes that you get.”

Schroder scored in double figures for the third consecutive game. He shot 9-for-15 from the field, including 5-for-7 on threes, as the Nets won in Ollie’s home debut.

The Nets, who didn’t have Cam Thomas (right ankle/midfoot sprain) or Ben Simmons (left leg soreness), made 22 three-pointers, their second-most in a game this season. Even backup center Day’Ron Sharpe joined the fun with threes on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter.

Sharpe was 2-for-9 on threes this season entering the game.

“I’ve had that [ability], but just more opportunity to show it,” said Sharpe, who had 12 points and eight rebounds. “Just being more confident in it, like I’ve been there before.”

The two-game series comes at a critical moment. The Nets entered Thursday four games behind the Hawks, who were without Trae Young after finger surgery. The Nets could either make up key ground on the Hawks or face near-impossible odds to catch them with 22 games left after Saturday.

With Thursday starting a four-game homestand, the Nets knew they had a good chance to make a statement in front of their fans. They followed a season-high 20 turnovers Tuesday with only 10 against the Hawks and had 30 assists.

Dejounte Murray had 28 points to lead the Hawks, who shot 8-for-26 on threes.

“Tonight’s just a start,’’ Johnson said, “but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t follow it up with the next game and the following game and keep the energy high.”

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