Horford lifts Hawks past Wizards, 101-99 in OT

Pero Antic made the game-winning inbounds pass.

Al Horford said all he had to do was make the catch near the

basket and then shoot a soft jumper. All in 1.8 seconds.

Just like in practice.

Horford matched his career high with 34 points, including a

jumper as time expired in overtime, and the Atlanta Hawks recovered

after blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the

Washington Wizards 101-99 on Friday night.

”We work on that in practice,” Horford said. ”We had three

options: Me, Paul (Millsap) or Kyle (Korver). I think they

overplayed both of those guys. (Antic) gave me a great pass.”

With the game tied at 99, Antic threw the high pass over other

players to Horford, who hit a short fallaway over Washington’s

Trevor Booker as the buzzer sounded. A video review confirmed the

shot beat the buzzer.

”It was supposed to be a lob for a dunk,” Horford said. ”As

soon as I got it, I shot it.”

Booker, who led Washington with 24 points and 14 rebounds, said

he thought he could intercept the pass.

”It hurts,” Booker said. ”I thought I could get the ball and

it went over my head.

”(Horford) actually fumbled it at first and then knocked it

down. I didn’t even get a chance to really contest it.”

Millsap and Korver had 16 points for Atlanta. Horford grabbed 15

rebounds.

The Hawks took their 11th straight home win in the series.

Korver’s 3-pointer gave Atlanta a 95-93 lead in overtime. After

Teague had two baskets for Atlanta, each answered by Booker,

Washington called a timeout with 11 seconds remaining in the extra

period. John Wall’s penetration and pass set up Booker’s tying

layup with 1.8 seconds remaining.

Wall, quiet most of the night, had 11 points in the fourth

period and finished with 13 while shooting only 6 of 22. Martell

Webster had 15 points.

”We just gave this game away,” Wall said, adding his

fourth-quarter shots were ”the same shots I took in the first

half, I just didn’t make them. I struggled.”

The Wizards led 86-84 when Horford blocked a shot by Marcin

Gortat. Wall fouled Horford with 5.5 seconds remaining in

regulation and Horford made both free throws to tie the game. Wall,

guarded by DeMarre Carroll, missed a fallaway jumper at the buzzer

to send the game to overtime.

The Hawks led 48-46 at halftime before outscoring the Wizards

23-15 in the third period. Washington made only 5 of 17 shots in

the period.

Atlanta took an 80-65 lead early in the fourth quarter before

the Wizards made their charge with a 16-2 run.

”We gave them life,” Horford said. ”They’re a resilient

team.”

Washington coach Randy Wittman said his players ”didn’t do

anything” before the run late in regulation.

”I’ll give them credit for staying in the fight and having an

opportunity to win the game,” Wittman said. ”But when you don’t

play for 42 minutes, you’ve got to play perfect basketball. … I

just don’t think we were ready to play.”

Booker’s basket with 4:30 remaining cut the Hawks’ lead to

82-77. A tip-in by Gortat trimmed the lead to three points.

Following a missed 3-pointer by Korver, Wall went behind his

back on a drive and basket with 2:56 remaining, cutting Atlanta’s

lead to 82-81. Wall added a jumper and 3-pointer in the final 2:15

of regulation.

Korver had four 3-pointers, extending his NBA-record streak to

92 games with at least one 3.

Wizards rookie Otto Potter, playing in his third game, closed

the first period with his first career field goal. Potter then made

Washington’s first basket of the second period on a jumper.

NOTES: Washington’s last win at Atlanta was on Jan. 11, 2008.

… Gortat had 12 points and 10 rebounds. … Horford also had 34

points at Utah on Feb. 27, 2013. … Wizards F Nene (Achilles) and

G Bradley Beal (leg) did not play. Webster returned after missing

one game with a sprained right ankle. … The Hawks recalled G John

Jenkins from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.

Jenkins was assigned to Bakersfield on Dec. 6. … Horford’s

previous season high was 27 points at Sacramento on Nov. 5.