- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson, back after missing the last five games due to heel and quad injuries, had 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting in 35 minutes in his return to the lineup Thursday night.
“I felt pretty good man,” Johnson said after the Nets lost, 92-90, to the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. “My wind isn’t where I would like for it to be, but I felt pretty good out there. In the first half man I was just trying to feel my way through. I just wanted to get up-and-down the floor a little bit and see how it felt.
“I took a couple shots here and there in the first half. But in the second half I just wanted to be a little bit more aggressive and go off the dribble and I was able to do it a little bit, but for the most I was just try to be out there and help the guys.”
Johnson hit a huge 3-pointer with 1:14 left to put the Nets up 88-86. But the team’s late-game closer never got another shot up down the stretch, which proved costly. Still, Johnson wasn’t upset at his lack of touches in the final minute.
“P.J. (Carlesimo)’s the coach. I ride with him 100 percent. He went with what he felt what was best for this team,” Johnson said. “That’s P.J. He drew up the plays down the stretch which don’t bother me one bit.”
• Deron Williams (30 points, 10 assists) recorded his team-leading 19th double-double of the season. He has 155 made 3-pointers, three shy of tying Kerry Kittles’ single-season franchise-record.
• Reggie Evans had 13 rebounds. It’s the 12th consecutive game and 39th game overall in which he has recorded double-digit boards.
• The Nets dropped to 16-6 at home and 30-15 overall against Eastern Conference opponents.