Joe Johnson scores 18 in narrow TBT loss

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, July 12, 2020
Joe Johnson, playing for Overseas Elite in The Basketball Tournament in 2020, played at Arkansas from 1999-2001 and was a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics in the 2001 NBA Draft. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Joe Johnson, playing for Overseas Elite in The Basketball Tournament in 2020, played at Arkansas from 1999-2001 and was a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics in the 2001 NBA Draft. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Sideline Cancer beat Overseas Elite and Joe Johnson 67-65 on Sunday in The Basketball Tournament semifinals at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

In the fourth quarter with no game clock and the format switching to the first team to 67 points claiming victory, Overseas Elite led 65-64 when Maurice Creek hit a 3-pointer for the game winner.

Creek, a 6-5 guard who plays professionally in the Ukraine after playing in college at Indiana and George Washington, scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

“That might be the biggest shot of my career,” Creek said. “Once I shot it, I knew it was good.”

Johnson, a former Little Rock Central and Arkansas star who played 17 seasons in the NBA, scored 18 points, but was held to 7 of 18 shooting. He scored 35 points in Overseas Elite’s 93-76 victory over Herd That in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Johnson’s 3-point play, on a layup and free throw, put Overseas Elite ahead 65-64 against Sideline Cancer. After a missed 3-point attempt by Sideline Cancer, Johnson missed a shot that would have won the game.

“We really just fought,” Sideline Cancer Coach Charlie Parker said of slowing down Johnson. “We made sure he was seeing hands from our squad (on defense).”

Sideline Cancer advanced to play the Golden Eagles in the TBT championship game at 6 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN. The winning team will earn $1 million.

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