NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Atlanta
(Monday, December 15th)
Final Score: Atlanta 83, Charlotte 79
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson tallied 28 points and eight assists, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 83-79 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at Philips Arena.
Al Horford posted 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who are now 2-0 to start their season-long eight-game homestand after ending the Cavs 11-game win streak Saturday. Josh Smith recorded 15 points and seven rebounds, while Mike Bibby scored 14 points in the win.
"The first half we let them get 50 percent as a team shooting," Smith said. "We had to crack down on it the second half. We generated our offense with our defense and our intensity on both ends of the court in the second half."
Newcomer Boris Diaw scored 25 points in his second game with the Bobcats, who have lost seven straight games and five straight on the road. Gerald Wallace posted 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Raymond Felton had 15 points and seven assists in a losing effort. Emeka Okafor provided 10 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte.
"We didn't get a lot of rhythm in the fourth quarter," Diaw said. "We get some good stops, then offensively, the shots fall off. We've got to do a better job of that in the future. I think we had a very good first half, and we have to build on that."
Tied at 68 at the start of the fourth, Atlanta forged ahead by six, as Charlotte didn't score until the 7:16 mark of the quarter.
Johnson's jumper with just over five minutes left put the Hawks ahead 78-71, as the Bobcats continued to struggle from the field.
After Horford put Atlanta up nine with a basket, Diaw hit a hook shot and Felton hit a jumper to make it 80-75 with 1 1/2 minutes left. Felton sank a couple free throws with 47.7 seconds to go to pull to within three, but Johnson's fadeaway jumper from the baseline with 24.6 seconds left put the Hawks up five.
"(The Bobcats) look good, they're a hard-fighting team, they never give up," Johnson said. "When you're playing those guys, you gotta stay on your toes because they're gonna keep coming."
Okafor's layup attempt on the ensuing possession was blocked emphatically by Smith, and the Hawks took the victory. Charlotte managed just 11 points in the final period in taking the loss.
"We played well enough to win, we couldn't make a shot the last 15 minutes of the game," Bobcats head coach Larry Brown said about the team's 4-of-23 shooting to finish the contest. "They blocked a lot of shots. We had a lot of pretty darn good looks. We just couldn't get anything to go down."
Diaw scored 11 points in the opening quarter, and the Bobcats took a 27-23 edge into the second.
A 6-1 spurt capped by D.J. Augustin's jumper put Charlotte ahead by nine a little less than three minutes into the second, and the visitors took a 48-42 lead into halftime.
Atlanta got to within one on Bibby's jumper two minutes into the third, but the Bobcats followed by going on a 8-0 run -- with five points from Diaw -- to go back up by nine.
The Hawks closed the gap to four with 4 1/2 minutes left, and Horford's layup in the waning seconds sent the game into the fourth quarter tied, 68-68.
Atlanta leads the season series, 2-0...The Hawks shot 45.5 percent (35-of-77) from the field, while the Bobcats shot 38.8 percent (31-of-80)...Atlanta was just 3-of-20 from long range in the game...Charlotte was outrebounded, 47- 33...The Hawks will continue their homestand with games against Boston, Golden State, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Chicago and Denver...Okafor recorded a double- double for the 12th straight game...Atlanta has won three straight overall.
12/15 22:11:11 ET