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Johnson, Nets match season high with 3rd straight

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — If only the Brooklyn Nets could get a mulligan on that 2013 part of the 2013-14 season.

They are perfect in the new year, looking more like the team that was the heavy Atlantic Division favorite than the one that was 10-21 through December.

"We're undefeated this year," swingman Alan Anderson said. "So as long as we just keep that rolling, man, we know we've got a couple of tough games ahead of us, but like I said, take it one game at a time, one practice at a time, and keep building."

Joe Johnson snapped out of a slump with 23 points against his former team, and the Nets matched a season high with their third straight victory by beating the Atlanta Hawks 91-86 on Monday night.

Mirza Teletovic scored 16 points and 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.

"We're going to have our hands full, but we've got to come with the same effort that we have since 2014 started," Nets coach Jason Kidd said.

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.

"We felt like we could (get over the hump) and a few things didn't go our way," Millsap said. "But still we fought to the end. At the end of the day, we've just got to work on our fundamentals."

Williams missed his 12th game this season after his ankle swelled Sunday. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

But the Nets got solid guard play from Shaun Livingston, who scored 12. And they got clutch play from Johnson, who had been held in single digits in five straight games for the first time in 11 years — though he did hit the winning shot in one of those, a victory at Oklahoma City on Thursday that started the win streak.

"Jason told me I was going to have to pick it up," Johnson said. "And he told me in the fourth quarter when I came back in that he wanted me to be very assertive and make plays and kind of take over the game, which is what I tried to do."

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