Hawks 103, Clippers 97

Al Horford loves it when Joe Johnson takes over in the fourth

quarter.

“It’s ridiculous how much he was scoring,” Horford said. “He

just goes about it like a business.”

Johnson scored 34 points, Jamal Crawford added 22, and the

Atlanta Hawks overcame a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat

the Los Angeles Clippers 103-97 on Wednesday night.

The Hawks, coming off consecutive road losses at Orlando and

Oklahoma City, improved to 20-5 at home.

Johnson began the second half going 7 for 8 from the field and

finished 11 for 21, with three 3-pointers.

“We picked up our energy,” Johnson said. “I’m just glad we

came through.”

Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon each scored 17 points for Los

Angeles. The Clippers finished an eight-game trip with just two

wins and have dropped 13 of 15 away games.

Marcus Camby, the NBA’s third-leading rebounder, had 20 rebounds

for Los Angeles, but a miscommunication with Baron Davis caused the

point guard to call the Clippers’ final timeout with 2:16

remaining.

Camby apparently didn’t break free soon enough to help Davis

move the ball away from two defenders that had him pinned near the

midcourt sideline.

Because he feared committing a 5-second turnover, Davis called

timeout. He complained to Camby, who nodded his head in agreement,

as the two teammates walked to Los Angeles’ bench.

The possession ended as Davis badly missed a layup from the

right side.

“I think they were the more aggressive team in the second

half,” Davis said. “They started making shots, which helped them

get confidence. A good team like this is hard to contain when they

start knocking down shots.”

Camby was disappointed to end the road trip with another

loss.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Camby said. “We felt we let

this one get away. They cut the lead to 3 going into the fourth.

Going down the stretch they got to the line a lot and made a lot of

free-throws.”

Atlanta never trailed after Crawford’s two free throws made it

90-88 with 3:35 left.

The Clippers were up 70-57 after Rasual Butler’s fast-break

layup at the 2:16 mark of the third quarter. Their defense,

however, relaxed enough to let Atlanta go on a 13-0 run that ended

with Crawford’s free throw.

“We just got up and them put them on a carousel,” Hawks

forward Josh Smith said. “We limited them to one shot, rebounded

and had a couple of fast-break points. That is what this team has

to do.”

Smith, Horford and Marvin Williams each had 10 rebounds. Horford

finished with 16 points, and Smith had 15.

Though the Hawks were outrebounded by nine and outscored by 16

in the paint, Horford believes his team fought harder for loose

balls.

“It’s very important,” Horford said. “Josh is so aggressive

out there, and we all need to do that as a unit in order to be

effective on the boards.”

Horford and Johnson combined for 24 points and hit 10 of 11

free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

“We can’t afford to have a letdown,” Johnson said.

NOTES: The Clippers dropped to 2-15 when starting the fourth

quarter with a deficit. … Atlanta improved to 18-6 when Crawford,

who went 8 for 16 from the field, hits at least 50 percent of his

shots. … Though Los Angeles won last year at Philips Arena, it

dropped to 13-39 in Atlanta. … The Hawks lead the series

67-36.