The Brooklyn Nets pounded the Philadelphia 76ers en route to a 130-94 victory on Monday night, but the real story took place in a span of just 9 minutes and 27 seconds in the third quarter. Within that time frame, Joe Johnson caught fire – and that might be an understatement. The guard drained 10 of the 12 shots he took during that stretch, including launching 10 three-pointers, and knocking down eight of them.
Johnson, who finished the game with 37 points, fell two short of the NBA mark for three-pointers in a game, but tied Michael Redd‘s record for three-pointers in a quarter with eight. His 29 third quarter points were four short of the NBA record for points in any quarter, a mark held by Carmelo Anthony and George Gervin.
“Wait, he had 29 in a quarter?” said Deron Williams. “Oh my God.”
Kevin Garnett was also impressed with the performance, and while he pointed out he had seen hot streaks like Johnson’s in the past, there’s been “nothing lately.”
“I’ve been in the league since Moses,” the 37-year-old said. “There’s not too much I haven’t seen.”
Heading into the fourth quarter with the game already decided, Nets coach Jason Kidd gave the veteran Johnson the option to either sit and rest, or return to the court in an attempt to break records.
“I asked him if he wanted out,” Kidd said. “So he did his job. I’m not a coach that’s going to sit someone when they’re hot. I asked. He politely declined.”
An absolute classy move by Johnson, choosing rest and the team over personal satisfaction. Brooklyn has been dealing with injuries all season, and having Johnson, one of only four Nets to have actually played in all 24 games this season, risk an injury just wasn’t worth it.
Deron Williams quietly put together a nice game, scoring 13 points and dishing out 13 assists. Andray Blatche hit the 20-point mark for the third straight game, and the Nets shot over 60 percent for the first time since February 5, 2009 against the Washington Wizards.
The Nets have a day-off on Tuesday before returning to action on Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center.