At their worst, the Brooklyn Nets have struggled considerably in the third quarter during the 2013-14 season. On Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, however, Joe Johnson did not allow them to see another disappointing outcome.
With the Nets already up 58-48 at the half, Johnson put the game out of reach with a dominant third quarter of 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting. That included 8-of-10 shooting from three-point range, tying Michael Redd's record for threes in a quarter set as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in February 2002. For the game, Johnson finished with 37 points on 13-of-20 shooting (10-of-14 from deep), seven rebounds, and five assists in the Nets' 130-94 win.
Check out all 10 of Johnson's three-pointers below:
Johnson spoke about his performance with reporters after the game. From the Associated Press:
''My teammates kept telling me, when you catch it, just shoot it,'' Johnson said. [...]
Johnson scored 29 points in the third, his most in any quarter in his career. But after battling an illness the last few days and with the Nets ahead 100-73, Johnson declined the opportunity to play in the fourth quarter and chase the NBA record of 12 3-pointers held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall.
''I wasn't worried about it,'' Johnson said. ''Most importantly I wanted to try to keep guys healthy and get some of the other guys a chance to play.''
That's a worthy focus for Johnson, because things are finally starting to look up for the Nets. They have now won four of their last five games, including three of four since the return of Deron Williams from an ankle sprain, While their 9-15 record lacks luster, the Nets are just one game back of the 9-13 Toronto Raptors for the final playoff spot in the conference. Brooklyn has a long way to go before this season can be considered a success, but they look to be on their way to making up for some of their miserable start.
- - - - - - -