Cam Johnson drops 24 points in Phoenix Suns’ win over Hornets

Jan 24, 2023, 9:12 PM | Updated: 11:56 pm

Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson during a 128-97 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Footprint Center in...

Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson during a 128-97 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Jan. 24, 2023. (Twitter photo/@Suns)

(Twitter photo/@Suns)

Welcome back Cam Johnson.

After missing 37 games due to a meniscus tear in his right knee, the Phoenix Suns wing came out on fire in just his third game and second start since Nov. 4 on Tuesday night.

In the first seven minutes of the first quarter alone, Johnson scored 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting, including a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range, in his team’s 128-97 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Footprint Center.

“I still think there is so much more room for me to impact that side of the game,” Johnson said postgame of being able to create for his teammates. “As I get my legs back under me and continue to get back in the flow of things, I will continue to add that into what I am doing on the court.”

Johnson finished the first half with 19 points — including draining five 3s — in nearly 12 minutes played en route to a 58-47 Suns lead at halftime.

He concluded the night with 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting (81.8%), including an astounding 6-for-7 from deep (85.7%), in addition to three boards and three dimes in nearly 18 minutes played.

“It’s the NBA — you weather storms. It’s life — you weather storms. Things won’t always go our way — we have found that out the past couple years,” Johnson said. “That doesn’t mean you tuck your tail and run, sell the farm and hide away forever. You keep going, stick with what we do.

“We have a lot of confidence in our group and the guys we put out there. Top to bottom, you just figure we stick with what we are doing. We know we have done it before, we can get back on track. Not saying we have done anything yet — we are still fighting our way through the Western Conference and the league. We still have so much more to do. We are still going to keep our foot on the gas and carve out some wins.”

The former No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of North Carolina scored 19 points on 4-of-10 shooting in Thursday’s 112-107 win over the Brooklyn Nets, including going 2-for-6 from deep and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.

He also added six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 22 minutes off the bench in what was his first appearance in nearly three months.

Johnson got a planned day off in the team’s 112-107 over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday before a less-than-ideal performance in Sunday’s 112-110 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

He finished that contest with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting (0-of-4 from three) in addition to six rebounds and one assist in 29.5 minutes played.

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