Brooklyn Nets' Joe Johnson Puts Up 29 Points in Third Quarter vs. 76ers

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 16, 2013

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Based on his third-quarter explosion, it appears that Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson is sick of waiting for the team's veteran additions to turn the season around.

Johnson erupted for 29 points in the third period of the Nets' 130-94 annihilation of the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite resting for the bulk of the fourth quarter, he still finished with a season-high 37 on the night.

As you might suspect, his shot chart was pretty ridiculous.

The Nets have won four of their last five and, incredibly, sit just a single game out of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference. And in a season of near-historic futility, Brooklyn now has a positive entry in the NBA record books.

It's safe to assume Johnson won't be setting NBA records every night. But if Brooklyn can supplement his hot shooting with a healthy Brook Lopez and half-decent work from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who knows what might happen?

Deron Williams has managed to stay upright for a few games in a row, and his 13 assists against Philly were yet another encouraging sign for the Nets.

It's far too early to call this a turning point in the season, but it was one of the first real sparks the Barclays Center has seen in a while. Johnson's scoring blitz took a relatively close contest and blew it open. Brooklyn outscored the Sixers by 17 points in the third, and never looked back down the stretch.

The Nets have a long way to go, but Johnson might have just given them a little kick to get them started down the road.