Nets prevail over Atlanta Hawks

January 08, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

NEW YORK: The Brooklyn Nets matched their season high for consecutive victories when they recorded a third triumph in a row with a hard-fought win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Joe Johnson scored a game-high 23 points and Mirza Teletovic added 16 points off the bench for the Nets, who also won three straight games from Dec. 7-12.

Guard Jeff Teague and forward Paul Millsap each had 16 points and five assists for Atlanta, whose third consecutive loss equals the team’s worst run of the season.

Brooklyn (13-21) guard Deron Williams remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle, meaning Alan Anderson made his 14th start of the season, matching his total for the previous two campaigns combined.

Atlanta (18-17) pulled within two points in the final minute but Johnson got the ball out to Teletovic, who buried the game-clinching three-pointer.

Kevin Love scored 26 points while Nikola Pekovic had 16 points and 14 rebounds as the power forward duo helped Minnesota roll to a lop-sided victory that ended Philadelphia’s season-high four-game winning streak.

Love went 4-for-7 from three-point range, part of a 16-for-26 barrage by Minnesota from distance. Kevin Martin, who finished with 18 points, sank three three-pointers, as did Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea.

Minnesota (17-17), who led by as many as 33 points in the second half, beat Philadelphia for the fifth straight time.

Thaddeus Young, just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, paced Philadelphia with 20 points but the Sixers (12-22) turned the ball over 23 times.

The Los Angeles Clippers tightened up on defence, allowing the Orlando Magic to hit just one of their first 12 shots and routing the visitors.

The Magic shot just 35.7 percent in the game and had eight of their shots blocked by DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers center added 14 points and 17 rebounds.

Making his second start at point guard in place of injured All Star Chris Paul, Darren Collison was flawless in orchestrating the first-half runaway.

Collison hit his first eight shots and had 19 of his team-high 21 points by halftime.

The Magic got centre Nikola Vucevic back in their starting lineup after the seven-footer missed two games with an ankle injury. However, Vucevic hit just one of his seven shots and left the game after taking a hard fall in the third quarter.