WHAT IT MEANS: Joe Johnson's return to Atlanta turned out to be a disaster.
The 31-year-old shooting guard and his new team, the Brooklyn Nets, were blown out by the Hawks, 109-95, on Wednesday night at Philips Arena. The Nets came in on a season-high seven-game winning streak.
Johnson, who was double-teamed seemingly every time he touched the ball, finished with 15 points on 4-for-15 shooting. According to reporters in attendance, Johnson received a mixture of boos and cheers during pre-game player introductions.
The Nets (23-16), who dropped to 9-2 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, trailed by as many as 26, and fell to 8-16 against .500 or better teams. They shot just 4-for-26 from 3-point range and were outscored on the fast break, 29-12.
The Hawks (22-16) were without Josh Smith, who was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team, but shot 57.7 percent from the field. Jeff Teague led six Atlanta players in double figures with 28 points and added 11 assists.
Brooklyn has lost six straight to the Hawks.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Brook Lopez was dominant, scoring 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting while adding nine rebounds. But Deron Williams had his first bad game since his team’s last loss on New Year’s Eve in San Antonio, scoring just 12 points on 5-for-18 shooting while adding nine assists.
RETURN OF CRASH: Gerald Wallace, who missed the last two games due to bruised ribs, came off the bench to score four points in 15 minutes.
FIRST HALF OF MISERY: The Nets trailed 56-40 at the end of the first half. The Nets shot just 39.1 percent, while the Hawks shot 54.5 percent. Brooklyn went 1-for-10 from 3-point range and had seven turnovers. D-Will went 1-for-7. Atlanta led in fastbreak points, 19-4. For the record, the Hawks scored just 58 points in Monday night’s embarrassing loss to Chicago.
UP NEXT: Nets vs. Hawks on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.