NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Atlanta
(Wednesday, March 21st)
Final Score: Atlanta 103, Cleveland 102 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson's 22 points included the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer in regulation and the game-winning basket late in overtime as Atlanta took down Cleveland, 103-102, on Wednesday.
Josh Smith poured in 32 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, Zaza Pachulia donated 14 points and Jeff Teague had 12 for the Hawks, who have won three of four.
"Yeah it was [a hard, tough game]," Smith said. "They jumped on us early. we responded in the second quarter, and then all throughout the second half it was a battle back-and-forth."
Atlanta swept the season series with Cleveland 3-0 and has won seven in a row between the clubs.
Kyrie Irving finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, but it was not enough for the Cavaliers, who dropped their fourth in five games. Antawn Jamison scored 23 points and pulled down 12 boards in defeat.
The Cavs were up by six, 101-95, with 1:27 to play in OT, but Johnson knocked down a triple and Smith netted a layup and the free-throw after a foul.
Tristan Thompson then made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe before Johnson pulled up along the baseline and knocked down a fadeaway jumper with 18 ticks on the clock for the game's 17th and final lead change.
The fireworks at the end of the fourth came after two driving layups from Irving built a 91-88 advantage for the visitors -- the largest lead for either team in that quarter.
Johnson responded this time from the top of the key, draining a trey as time expired.
"I'm obviously disappointed in the way it ended," said Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott. "We played pretty hard. We played pretty well. We just made some bad decisions. I mean, just really bad decisions in overtime."
Cleveland was dominant early, scoring 20 of the game's first 30 points and holding a double-digit edge from there until the midpoint of the second frame.
But down 46-32 with 6:47 on the clock, Atlanta embarked on a 19-4 flurry to wrestle the lead away for the first time at 51-50.
They were clinging to a 54-53 advantage at halftime, but after creating some separation at 72-64 late in the third, the Cavs scored nine unanswered points to take a 73-72 edge into the fourth quarter.
Ivan Johnson is not with the Atlanta due to personal reasons, while Vladimir Radmanovic did not dress with a back issue...Daniel Gibson did not dress for Cleveland with a left ankle sprain...Thompson finished with 13 points and Manny Harris had 11 for the Cavaliers...Kirk Hinrich and Jerry Stackhouse scored 10 apiece for the Hawks.
03/21 23:19:03 ET