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NBA roundup: Nets enjoying new direction in new year

Joe Johnson snapped out of a slump with 23 points for the Nets.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Joe Johnson snapped out of a slump with 23 points for the Nets.

If only the Brooklyn Nets could get a mulligan on that 2013 part of the 2013-14 season.

They are perfect in the new year, looking more like the team that was the heavy Atlantic Division favorite than the one that was 10-21 through December.

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‘‘We’re undefeated this year,’’ swingman Alan Anderson said.

Joe Johnson snapped out of a slump with 23 points against his former team, and the Nets matched a season high with their third straight victory by beating the visiting Atlanta Hawks, 91-86, on Monday night.

Mirza Teletovic scored 16 points and Anderson added 14 starting in place of the injured Deron Williams, who missed his 12th game this season after his ankle swelled Sunday.

Paul Millsap scored 16 points for the Hawks, who lost their third in a row to equal their worst stretch of the season. Jeff Teague also had 16 but shot 5 of 15 from the field.

But the Nets got solid guard play from Shaun Livingston, who scored 12. And they got clutch play from Johnson, who had been held in single digits in five straight games for the first time in 11 years.

Johnson finished 10 of 22, making the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:21 remaining.

The Hawks scored the final 11 points of the first half, capped by Millsap’s 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, to take a 52-46 advantage. But the Nets stormed out with the first 14 of the third quarter. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer angrily knocked his clipboard onto the court while reaching for it after calling one timeout, then was hit with a technical foul on a subsequent possession after redirecting his rage from his players to the referees.

Timberwolves 126, 76ers 95 — Kevin Love scored 16 of his 26 points in a dominant third quarter and Nikola Pekovic had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead Minnesota in Philadelphia.

Kevin Martin scored 18 points and Corey Brewer had 15 to help the Timberwolves move back to .500 (17-17). Minnesota made 16 of 26 3-pointers.

Thaddeus Young scored 20 points for the Sixers, who snapped a four-game winning streak.

Love and the Timberwolves turned the game into a blowout in the third.

He hit his first 3 for a 24-point lead, converted a 3-point play for a 25-point lead, then nailed another 3 late in the quarter to make it 96-71.

Clippers 101, Magic 81 — Darren Collison scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and had seven assists in his second start at point guard since Chris Paul’s shoulder injury, leading host Los Angeles to a rout of Orlando.

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