James Johnson Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Nets received distressing news this week that their starting guard Joe Harris, one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters, will be out 4-8 weeks after having surgery on his left ankle. He injured it on Nov. 14 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 14 games Harris is averaging 11.3 points and making 44% of his three-point attempts.

Even with Harris out, the Nets continue to have one of the league’s best records and have recently faced other teams with the best records. As of last night (Wednesday), the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors were both 18-3. The Suns took down the Warriors 104-96 on Tuesday to win their 17th game in a row. The Nets had the third best record and were No.1 in the East at 15-6.

The Suns defeated the Nets at the Barclays Center last Saturday by 113-107. The Nets also lost to the Warriors at home on Nov. 16 by 117-99. The Suns were able to hold Nets’ guard James Harden to 12 points although he ended the night with a low scoring triple double, adding 14 assists and 13 rebounds.

But after beating the Knicks last night in Brooklyn by 112-110, the Nets had won five of their last six. A late foul by Mitchell Robinson on Nets forward James Johnson turned out to be the deciding play. Johnson made two crucial foul shots with 2.2 seconds left with the score tied at 110 to give the Nets the win. He had seven points and two rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

Harden led the Nets with 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Durant added 27 points and nine assists. “It doesn’t matter who’s on that team or who’s on this team. I think the energy’s always going to be there,” said Harden.

“Whether it’s here or at MSG, the fans are going to be cheering for their respective teams, and it’s going to be a good game every time. And tonight, we’re just happy to come out with the win.”

The Nets have been getting strong contributions from veterans Patty Mills and LaMarcus Aldridge. Mills, playing both guard positions, is averaging 12.2 points on 47.8% shooting from three. Aldridge, manning the power forward and center positions, is posting 13.6 points and 5.9 rebounds.

The Nets get back to it at Barclays tomorrow night against the Minnesota Timberwolves and on Saturday will host the Chicago Bulls. They will then go on a four-game road trip starting next Tuesday versus the Dallas Mavericks followed by a game on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.

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