Cameron Johnson, Dennis Schroder guide Nets past Hawks

Cameron Johnson scored a season-high 29 points and hit seven 3-pointers as the Brooklyn Nets never trailed and earned a crucial 124-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in the home debut of interim coach Kevin Ollie on Thursday night in New York.

The Nets improved to 2-3 since Ollie took over for Jacque Vaughn and moved within three games of Atlanta for the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn posted its lopsided margin of victory without Cam Thomas (sprained ankle) and Ben Simmons (sore knee).

Johnson produced his third-highest scoring game since joining the Nets at last season’s trade deadline. He made 10 of 15 shots, equaled the second-most 3-pointers of his career and scored at least 20 points for the first time since Dec. 26 at Detroit.

Dennis Schroder added 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his best outing since joining the Nets at the trade deadline. Mikal Bridges contributed 15, seven rebounds and five assists as the Nets shot 51.1 percent and hit 22 3-pointers for their second-highest total of the season.

Day’Ron Sharpe contributed 12 points, Lonnie Walker IV finished with 11 and Dennis Smith Jr. registered 10. The Nets scored their most points since getting 136 at Philadelphia on Feb. 3.

Dejounte Murray scored 28 points but had little help as the Hawks dropped two games behind the ninth-place Chicago Bulls. Jalen Johnson added 14 and De’Andre Hunter finished with 12 as the Hawks shot 43 percent and were held below 100 points for the fourth time this season.

After Cameron Johnson’s dunk right before the buzzer gave the Nets a 34-16 lead through the opening quarter, the Nets took a 19-point lead early in the second and settled for a 56-50 lead by halftime after Murray sank a 3 with 13 seconds left.

Brooklyn opened a 77-63 cushion on Schroder’s triple with 6:01 left and the guard’s fifth triple made it a 20-point game nearly two minutes later before the Nets took a 94-75 lead into the fourth.

The Nets held a 102-78 lead on Walker’s trey with 9:13 left, and consecutive 3s by Sharpe made it 115-84 with 7:11 remaining shortly before Brooklyn pulled its starters.

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