NBA Game Summary - Toronto at Atlanta
(Wednesday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Atlanta 127, Toronto 120 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Mike Bibby recorded 26 points, 12 assists, six rebounds, and the game-tying three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in regulation, as the Atlanta Hawks overcame a 17-point second half deficit to shock the Toronto Raptors, 127-120 in overtime.
Joe Johnson notched 28 points and 11 assists, and the Hawks won their fifth straight game to take a four-game lead over the New Jersey Nets and Indiana Pacers for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Josh Smith added 24 points and nine rebounds, and Al Horford tallied 14 points and 12 caroms.
The Raptors held a slim edge for the final six minutes of regulation, and led, 107-104 in the waning moments.
After two misses from behind the arc with less than 10 seconds to go, the Hawks had one last chance to tie the score. From the left corner, Bibby elevated over T.J. Ford and drilled a tying three-pointer with 0.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Raptors had one last trick up their sleeve, however. On the ensuing inbounds pass from half court, Josh Childress lost Ford on a defensive switch and Carlos Delfino found the point guard wide open under the basket for the game-winning tip-in. On the replay, however, the ball looked to still be in Ford's hands, and, after several minutes of the referees reviewing the play, the basket was nullified and the score remained 107-107 at the buzzer.
"I thought my shot in regulation was good, but I didn't see the replay, so I'm not sure," Ford said. "However, we should have never been in that situation. Bibby did a good job in knocking down the three in regulation to tie the game. He's a veteran, and he threw me off with his pump fake, which gave him a good look at the basket."
In overtime, Smith hit a three-pointer with two minutes left to give the Hawks a 114-113 lead. Ford and Horford traded baskets, and Chris Bosh gave the Hawks a two-point led after converting a three-point play.
Bibby again came up big with a three-pointer on the next possession and Childress recorded a big block on the defensive end. With the ball and the one-point lead, Bibby penetrated the lane and swung it back out to an open Smith, who again drilled the three and Atlanta led, 122-118 with 29.7 seconds left.
Bosh missed an open layup to make it a one-possession game on the next possession, and the Hawks sealed the game at the free throw line.
"That was a true playoff atmosphere," Horford said. "We kept fighting and fighting, and eventually things just started to go our way. Joe and Mike were so good tonight. It seemed like they took turns hitting huge shots all night."
The Raptors have lost seven of eight on road, as they remained tied with the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers for the fifth-seed in the East. Bosh finished with 24 points, while Ford and Rasho Nesterovic chipped in 23 and 21, respectively, with Ford adding 13 assists. Andrea Bargnani connected on 7- of-12 from the floor for 17 points.
Johnson scored 10 points in the first quarter to pace the Hawks to a 31-27 lead after 12 minutes of play.
Toronto scored the opening seven points of the second quarter to take its first lead of the game. The squads traded baskets for the next several minutes, and with the Raptors leading, 53-50, Bargnani nailed consecutive three-pointers to cap a 10-0 Toronto run. The Raptors led, 59-55 at the break.
The Raptors showed the depth of their offensive prowess by hitting their first 10 shots of the second half. Five different players contributed, highlighted by Jamario Moon's alley-oop dunk to make it a 79-66 Raptors advantage.
The Hawks scored the final six points off the third quarter, but still trailed 91-80 heading into the final stanza.
Bibby brought the Hawks back in the final period. With the home team trailing 97-89 four minutes in, Bibby made a three-pointer and converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to a mere six points. On the next possession, the point guard hit a running Johnson for a dunk and the Hawks trailed, 101-97.
Atlanta is 25-13 at home...Toronto is 16-22 on the road...The Hawks matched the franchise's highest single-season win total since the 1997-98 campaign...Anthony Parker had 12 points for Toronto...The Hawks magic number for a playoff berth is four...The Raptors were 2-0 this season against the Hawks...Marvin Williams had 15 points for the Hawks, while Childress added 11 off the bench.
04/02 23:26:32 ET