Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Johnson poured in 23 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 91-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center.
Mirza Teletovic added 16 points, Alan Anderson scored 14 and Shaun Livingston added 12 for the Nets, who improved to 3-0 in 2014, despite guard Deron Williams sitting out the game with a sprained left ankle.
"Jason (Kidd) told me he wanted to pick it up. He told me he wanted me to be assertive, take over and make plays," Johnson said.
Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap finished with 16 points apiece for the Hawks, losers in three straight. Elton Brand and DeMarre Carroll posted 10 points and seven rebounds apiece in the setback.
The Nets held the Hawks to just 38.1 percent (8-for-21) shooting and forced seven turnovers in the first quarter to take a 27-21 lead. Pierce led the way with all nine of his points over the first 12 minutes.
Atlanta trailed 35-27 at the 8:51 mark of the second. The Hawks remained within striking distance and a Teague layup ignited a 15-4 run that put the visitors up 52-46 at the break.
"They went on a big run; we went from up six to down six. I think in a lot of ways that's where the game, you know, was won," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.
Brooklyn, though, scored the first 14 points of the third quarter to go up 60-52. Atlanta countered with seven straight points. The teams traded makes the rest of the way, but Teletovic hit three 3-pointers in the final 3:04 to help the Nets take a 72-67 lead into the final frame.
The Hawks led 78-77 following Carroll's fast break slam at the 6:36 mark of the final frame, but the Nets scored seven straight and never looked back.
Teague's 3 with 1:31 left brought Atlanta within 86-84, but Teletovic answered with a triple of his own to help the Nets hang on for the victory.