It wasn’t a bad Saturday evening for a former standout basketball player from Westmoreland County. It was so great that the undrafted forward shot a career high in his NBA season debut with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In his return to the NBA facing the Houston Rockets last Saturday, Johnson scored a career high 15 points and collected six rebounds in 18 minutes of play.
This was a bit of a surprise for Johnson, who signed a 10-day contract and was coming off the bench.
“The guards just put me in the right position because at times I didn’t know what to do offensively. I have to get familiar with the offense,” said Johnson. “They put me in the right spots to be successful tonight and I just made good plays.”
Johnson will travel with the team to the nation’s capital to face the Washington Wizards on Jan. 25. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
The Timberwolves were granted an NBA hardship exception for a 16th roster spot due to having four players out for a minimum of two weeks due to injury.
During his time away, Johnson was a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors Development League where he was averaging 10.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 25.6 minutes in 14 games.
Johnson played three preseason games for Minnesota before joining the D-League on Oct. 27, 2012. This is his third season in the NBA after spending time with Boston, Portland and New Orleans. In 41 career games, he holds averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Johnson found most of his success in the D-League, where he averaged 16.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during the 2010-11 season for the Dakota Wizards and was named the 2011 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year.
Johnson spent his collegiate years at Louisiana State University and went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft.