Atlanta, GA – The return of former guard Joe Johnson seemingly energized the sluggish Atlanta Hawks' offense.
Two nights after scoring just 58 points in a blowout loss to Chicago, the Hawks had six players in double-figures, led by Jeff Teague's career-best 28 points, and Atlanta ended the Brooklyn Nets' seven-game winning streak with a 109-95 triumph on Wednesday.
Teague connected on 12-of-18 shots from the field while dishing out 11 assists. Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia also posted double-doubles, with Horford tallying 17 points and 13 rebounds. Pachulia fell just two assists shy of a triple-double, totaling 13 points, 11 boards and eight assists for the Hawks, who played without forward Josh Smith.
Atlanta suspended its leading scorer for the contest for conduct detrimental to the team, but didn't seem to miss him as they shot 57.7 percent for the game.
Devin Harris chipped in with 18 points and five assists in the victory for the Hawks, who came in losers in six of their last seven games.
"It means a lot, we're a good team," said Pachulia on getting a win. "It was a bad period of time we had, especially since the beginning of January. We weren't happy, we knew it was on us and obviously we understand we're going to go through these kinds of situations."
Johnson, a six-time All Star with the Hawks, played his first game against his former team since being traded to Brooklyn this past offseason. He scored 15 points, but shot just 4-of-15 from the field.
"It was alright, besides the game," said Johnson on his return to Atlanta. "It was great to come back, see some of the guys and have a little fun, but my main goal was to come back and for us to get a win."
Brook Lopez finished with 22 points and nine boards for the Nets, who lost for just the second time under interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Deron Williams had 12 points and nine assists and Andray Blatche scored 12 off the bench in the loss.
In knocking down seven of their first 10 shots, the Hawks sprinted out to a 17-8 lead. Brooklyn pulled within two later in the stanza on a Lopez putback, but Atlanta closed out the period strong, with Harris burying a 3-pointer to put them ahead 27-20 going into the second quarter.
Early in the second session, DeShawn Stevenson drained a triple to give Atlanta a double-digit lead, which held until Mirza Teletovic followed three straight Blatche buckets with a 3-pointer to cut the Nets' deficit to 38-31.
Brooklyn, however, never made a further dent in Atlanta's lead. A pair of Kyle Korver jumpers brought the Hawks' advantage up to 13, and while Johnson was able to finish a three-point play at the other end for the Nets, they wound up going into halftime behind 56-40.
The Hawks continued the offensive onslaught in the third quarter, where they connected on eight of their first nine shots to take a commanding 26-point lead at 73-47 on Horford's alley-oop jam.
Atlanta shot an impressive 70 percent (14-for-20) from the field during the quarter, with Teague having a hand in most of the scoring, tallying nine points and five assists in the period to help the Hawks to a comfortable 88-69 lead after three quarters.
The Nets never came any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Wednesday contest was the opener of a home-and-home series between the two clubs. They will play again on Friday in Brooklyn ... Gerald Wallace returned for Brooklyn after missing two games with bruised ribs. He scored four points in 15 minutes off the bench ... The Hawks have won 11 of the last 13 games against the Nets ... Pachulia set a career high in assists with eight.