Suns’ Cam Johnson starts off hot vs. Nets in return from meniscus surgery

Jan 19, 2023, 8:48 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm

The Suns have been in a lull as of late but forward Cam Johnson’s return from a knee injury on Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets was a needed boost in Phoenix’s 117-112 win.

Phoenix had dropped three straight games and lost 12 of the last 14 contests, falling to 21-24 on the year heading into Thursday.

Johnson last appeared on the court on Nov. 4, but Thursday was as if he hadn’t missed a beat.

The Suns’ sharpshooter jumped out to a 3-for-4 start from the field, including two 3s on the first three attempts as well as nailing his first two free throws.

He reached double-digit scoring in his first five game minutes, also snagging one rebound. Johnson finished the night with 19 points on 4-for-10 shooting, two rebounds and a perfect 9-for-9 from the line.

Johnson came off the bench six minutes through the first quarter after being injected into the starting lineup to begin the year.

Head coach Monty Williams said that he will not be on a minutes restriction against Brooklyn but that his conditioning would dictate how much he played.

The Suns were still without guards Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet as well as Josh Okogie.

Despite the injuries, Johnson’s return and center Deandre Ayton’s monster first quarter helped Phoenix lead by six over a Kevin Durant-less Brooklyn team.

Ayton added 24 points on 11-of-20 shooting, 14 rebounds and four assists in the game.

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