Johnson’s Hot Shooting Leads Nets Over Hawks In 124-97 Win

Cam Johnson, Brooklyn Nets, NBA News, Atlanta Hawks
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Johnson lit up the scoreboard with 29 points, including a season-high seven 3-pointers, guiding the Brooklyn Nets to a commanding 124-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks during Thursday’s NBA action.

This win is a pivotal two-game series as both teams vie for the last play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, with a rematch scheduled at Barclays Center.

“(They’re) right in front of us,” Dennis Schroder said. “We understood before the game we kind of had (to have) a hit- first mentality and we did a great job of it.”

The victory marked a new beginning for Brooklyn, now 23-36 under interim coach Kevin Ollie, who celebrated his first home win since taking over the reins from Jacques Vaughn.

“Our energy (and) our effort, those are things we can control, ” Ollie said. “Our recipe that we need to keep cooking is no turnovers and sharing the cake. I keep saying that over and over again. But when we have nine turnovers and 30 assists, that’s our recipe for winning.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Cam Johnson, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Schroder contributed 23 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, leading a balanced attack for the Nets. Mikal Bridges, Day’Ron Sharpe, Lonnie Walker IV, and Dennis Smith Jr. also scored in double figures, emphasizing the team’s collective effort.

“We have to put that urgency from here on out on the rest of the season,” Johnson said. “It’s unfortunate, but we dug ourselves a hole, and it’s not what we think our group is capable of. So we have to find a way out of that and maybe do a little bit extra. Tonight is just the start, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t follow it up with, you know, next game, the following game, keeping that energy high.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Cam Johnson, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Dejounte Murray paced the Hawks with 28 points in the absence of Trae Young, who was sidelined by a torn finger ligament. The loss halted Atlanta’s two-game winning streak, dropping them to 26-33.

“We weren’t focused on the right things from a gameplay perspective at the beginning of the game,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder reflected on the team’s lack of precision and force.

The Nets set the tone early, leading 34-16 after the first quarter thanks to Johnson and Bridges’ sharpshooting. They maintained their momentum through the half and widened the gap in the third quarter.

“It feels good,” Johnson shared his thoughts on finding rhythm and joy in his game. “What you’re looking for (as a player) is rhythm. Rhythm and feel of the game. It slows down for you anytime you’re in your comfortable spaces and comfortable roles. …You’re able to process quicker, more efficiently and sometimes good results follow that. So just playing off the guys and just playing with a little bit more joy.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Cam Johnson, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Brooklyn’s lead ballooned in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for a critical rematch as they push for a spot in the playoffs.

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