NBA Game Summary - Utah at Atlanta
(Sunday, March 25th)
Final Score: Atlanta 139, Utah 133 (4-OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Scheduled for three games in three days, the Atlanta Hawks played almost 3 1/2.
Joe Johnson scored eight of his 37 points in the fourth overtime Sunday and the Hawks finally finished off the Utah Jazz, 139-133, to end a brutal late- season stretch that surely outlasted its welcome.
Josh Smith added 22 points before fouling out and Jeff Teague scored 18 in Atlanta's first four-overtime game since 1982.
Al Jefferson had 28 points and 17 rebounds and Paul Millsap scored 25 with 13 boards to lead the Jazz, even though both fouled out in Utah's first-ever four OT game.
It was the longest NBA game in 15 years, since Phoenix and Portland went four overtimes on Nov. 14, 1997.
Both teams missed chances to win in regulation, then again and again and again at the end of the first three overtime periods until Atlanta, behind Johnson, finally took control for good.
Johnson's jumper to open the fourth OT gave the Hawks the lead for good and Willie Green's three-pointer pushed the margin to five. It reached six on Green's foul shot a minute and a half later and was never under two the rest of the way.
Atlanta won its fourth straight game, including victories over New Jersey at home on Friday and on the road at Washington on Saturday.
It marked the first time the Hawks went four OTs since beating Seattle on Feb. 19, 1982, and the first time it ever happened in Atlanta.
"Man, it would happen on the third game, too," said Smith. "It just shows the resiliency and toughness of this ballclub, to be able to push through that many overtimes and come out victorious. It was a special win. I think we'll probably appreciate this more so than any other win during the season thus far."
Johnson led the Hawks, playing more than 55 minutes, while Gordon Hayward had 19 points in a game-high 57 1/2 minutes for the Jazz, whose six-game winning streak was stopped.
"A tough loss," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "The guys showed a lot of character, especially in the second half to fight back. We had opportunities to win it, we just didn't make the timely shots."
Atlanta jumped over Indiana for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference while the Jazz are also in the mix in the Western Conference. But the game took on another meaning as it wore on.
Who would survive, and who would play four overtimes only to go home a loser?
The Jazz, who trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, led by four after Derrick Favors' three-point play in the fourth quarter. But they made only one field goal in the last 7:03 of regulation -- Jefferson's putback to tie the game at 98.
Smith then missed a fadeaway for Atlanta and Jefferson airballed a 20-footer for Utah.
The teams both had one more chance, but Johnson's floater was off line for the Hawks and Millsap's jumper hit off the front of the rim as time expired for the Jazz.
They scored just four combined points in the first overtime -- Devin Harris hit a jumper to give Utah the lead and Teague tied the game for Atlanta with a bank shot. Later, Marvin Williams blocked Millsap's dunk attempt but Teague's floater for Atlanta missed at the other end. Harris was then off on a fall- away three-pointer at the buzzer for Utah.
In the second overtime, Johnson hit a tying three-pointer over Jefferson with 7.5 seconds left to make it 113-113, and Harris' turnaround try missed at the buzzer for Utah.
Williams hit the tying shot in the third overtime, a jumper from the right side. Jefferson missed, but Millsap secured the rebounds and the Jazz took a timeout with 4.5 seconds remaining.
Millsap, however, couldn't get a fall-away shot to fall from the left side at the buzzer, sending the game to a fourth overtime.
Johnson was 3-for-5 in the final overtime and played all 20 extra minutes, though he said it's not as exhausting as it probably looked.
"I know this was our third in a row," he said, "but winning cures everything."
The Hawks have won five of the last six meetings between the teams...Atlanta's Jason Collins was the only player who saw time but didn't score. He committed five fouls in 8 1/2 minutes off the bench...Both teams had 64 rebounds. Zaza Pachulia pulled down 20 for the Hawks and scored 15 points...The Jazz opened a three-game road trip that continues at New Jersey on Monday...The Hawks will get a day of rest and play at Milwaukee on Tuesday.
03/25 22:43:47 ET