Starting 5

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Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Joe cool

Bruce BennettJoe Johnson has the reputation of being an isolation player. That is just what he has always done. You give him the ball and he scores. It is not always efficient and it is not always pretty. His trade to Brooklyn has been a mixed bag so far. He has not quite delivered or meshed with his new team.

Sometimes though, the player they call "Iso Joe" is on full display and shows just how great he can be. And those scenarios usually come when he does what he does best. Clear the floor, let him stare down the defender and score.

The Bucks learned that twice in Tuesday's overtime loss to the Nets at Barclays Center. Joe Johnson tied the game with a second and a half remaining with a 3-pointer. He then won the game at the buzzer, beating Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and draining a free throw line jumper as Mbah a Moute guess wrong which direction Johnson would go. The 113-111 victory was a big one for the Nets coming out of the All-Star break.

It might have been even bigger considering Brooklyn had to overcome a five-point deficit in overtime and rely on the timely shooting from Keith Bogans and Johnson and some defense to get the win. P.J. Carlesimo even took the risk of keeping Brook Lopez on the bench as the unit he had on the floor was successfully keeping Brooklyn in the game.

It all worked in the end and Brooklyn got their second half started off right.

2: Rocky Mountain garden party

David Zalubowski/AP/Denver PostA few weeks ago, the Celtics and Nuggets played a triple overtime classic.  There might have been more than a few expectations of another close game.

Of course, in reality, this game may have been a harbinger for what is coming in the second half of the season. The Nuggets seem poised to rocket up the Western Conference. The Celtics? Boston is lost between eras and transitioning from one title run to what they hope will be the next.

The Nuggets defeated the Celtics 97-90 behind Danilo Gallinari's 26 points, holding off the Celtics throughout the night. Denver's versatility and speed in the altitude of Denver proved to be too much for Boston.

That might be the case for much of the home-heavy second half for the Nuggets. They are going to be a tough team to score against and a tough team to stop with the athleticism this team has. Balance is difficult to find and Denver has found a good balance moving forward this season.

Boston? After streaking following Rajon Rondo's injury, the Celtics may be crashing down to earth on this West Coast swing as their identity must now re-emerge for a Playoff push.

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Burks gets it to fall

Isaiah Thomas dances around the defense

J.J. Hickson put back

4: Line of the Night: Gerald Henderson — 24 points, 10 rebounds

Henderson set a strong tone for the Bobcats in a 105-92 win over the Magic at Amway Center on Tuesday. He scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, aggressively attacking the rim and tipping rebounds out to his guards. Henderson set the tone and helped Charlotte build a 22-point lead in the first half, making an array of fade away jumpers over the lax Magic defense.

5:  You can quote me on that

I hate to do the comparison to Michael Jordan, but like everybody knew Michael was getting the ball in Chicago for the last-second shot, everybody in the arena knew Joe was getting the ball.

We could have put him out there by himself — well, with somebody to take the ball out — but he just makes plays.

-Nets forward Gerald Wallace on Joe Johnson finishing the game

I wish I would’ve played a little better. You always want to play well against your old team.

Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince on his first game back in Detroit

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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