Hawks 93, Bobcats 92, OT
Joe Johnson missed every shot he took for three quarters, but he found his sweet spot for his most important attempt with only a tenth of a second to spare in overtime.
Johnson sank a fallaway jumper over three Charlotte defenders just before time expired to lift the Atlanta Hawks past the Bobcats, 93-92 in overtime on Friday night.
With newly approved Charlotte owner Michael Jordan watching from behind the bench, Raymond Felton's basket gave the Bobcats a 92-91 lead with 4 seconds left in overtime.
The Hawks called timeout to set up Johnson's shot about two steps inside the 3-point line.
``I knew we had 3.8 seconds on the clock, so I knew I was able to take a few dribbles and get to a sweet spot on the court,'' Johnson said.
Stephen Jackson said the Bobcats were satisfied with their defense on the play.
``Can't draw up nothing like that,'' Jackson said about Johnson's shot. ``I mean, good defense. We'll live with that shot a million times. Obviously, we wanted to foul but we didn't. That ain't nothing they drew up. That's just a great play by a great player.''
Johnson had 18 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Johnson, returning after missing two games because of Achilles' tendinitis, was 0-for-9 from the field while scoring only two points in the first three quarters.
``I just had to get in rhythm,'' Johnson said. ``I've been off for five days and hadn't had a chance to do nothing but rest.''
He had nine points in the fourth period, including a short jumper with 35 seconds remaining to force overtime at 84-all.
Johnson then delivered again in overtime.
The officials reviewed Johnson's decisive shot in overtime. The replay showed a tenth of a second on the clock when the ball fell through the net.
``Joe is a pro,'' Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. ``He's an All-Star. He's capable of making shots when he needs to.''
Charlotte coach Larry Brown wanted his team to foul before Johnson could shoot.
``Sometimes the best-laid plans don't seem to work out,'' Brown said. ``But yeah, we had a foul to give, they were out of time-outs. Those are things that happen. ... But give them credit; he made a great shot.''
Josh Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta.
Felton led Charlotte with 25 points. Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 16 rebounds in his return after missing three games with an ankle injury. Jackson added 19 points but missed two free throws with Charlotte leading 84-82 late in regulation.
``There's nothing really else to talk about the game,'' Jackson said. ``I had a chance to ice the game, put it away and blew it. So I owe my team one.''
The Hawks rallied after trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks began the night tied with Boston for third place in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte is sixth in the conference.
``They play hard for 48 minutes,'' Johnson said of the Bobcats. ``They don't back down to nobody. We know if we meet them in the playoffs we're in for a tough series.''
Jamal Crawford had 16 points for Atlanta. Marvin Williams had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Al Horford finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Bobcats took a big lead of 10 points at 76-66 on a basket by Boris Diaw with 8:55 remaining.
Atlanta answered with an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 78-77. The Hawks were in position to reclaim the lead when Johnson was called for an offensive foul that nullified his baseline drive with 4:40 remaining.
The Bobcats padded the lead with two straight baskets.
Atlanta led 46-44 at halftime before Wallace scored nine straight points for Charlotte as the Bobcats took a 58-52 lead.
The league's Board of Governors on Wednesday unanimously approved Jordan's $275 million purchase from Bob Johnson. The Bobcats beat Oklahoma City on Wednesday night in Jordan's first game as owner.
NOTES: Brown indicated before the game he'd like to remain in Charlotte with Jordan as the team's owner. ``It's a plus for Charlotte because I know how competitive he is,'' Brown said. ``He's been supportive of me and helpful for me. It's great for our league so whatever he wants me to do, I'm going to try to do. He gave me an opportunity when I was out of coaching. I don't take that lightly. `` ... Bobcats C Nazr Mohammed (back) missed his 14th straight game. ... Johnson made 7 of 21 shots as Atlanta took its sixth straight home win over the Bobcats.