Joe Johnson hit a 16-foot jump shot with 18 seconds left in overtime to secure the Atlanta Hawks' 102-96 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 23 points. D.J. Augustin scored 21 for the Bobcats. Reserves Kemba Walker and Byron Mullens had 19 and 17, respectively, for the Bobcats.
The Hawks took control of the overtime on a four-point possession. Josh Smith missed the second of two free throws, but the rebound deflected back to Smith. Seconds later, Hawks guard Joe Johnson hit a three-pointer for a seven-point lead with three minutes left in the extra period.
Center Boris Diaw tied the game with six seconds left in regulation when it was judged Diaw's layup was touched above the rim by Al Horford, thus goal-tending. Horford missed on an ensuing jump shot. Diaw's frantic jumper at the buzzer missed, causing overtime.
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The Bobcats cut a nine-point deficit to two with 1 1/2 minutes left when Boris Diaw found Tyrus Thomas cutting down the baseline for a wide-open dunk. With 19 seconds left, center Byron Mullens trimmed it down to one with a reverse layup.
Hawks forward Marvin Williams made one of two free throws off a foul by Walker to give the Bobcats possession, down two with 17 seconds left.
The Hawks used a 14-3 run in the third quarter's last four minutes to lead 70-61 entering the final period. Big in that run was a four-point possession, with Josh Smith scoring both baskets. Smith missed a free throw after scoring, and Bobcats forward D.J. White lost the rebound out of bounds.
Smith caught the in-bounds pass and had a direct line to a layup and the four-point possession.
The Bobcats trailed 43-38 at halftime and the problem was shooting. Despite numerous open shots, the home team was 15-of-43 from the field.
Diaw, so effective against the New York Knicks Wednesday, made just 1-of-4 and Thomas, playing his first regular-season game this season following a sprained ankle, was 1-of-6.
The Hawks appeared preoccupied with Diaw, who made 12-of-15 shots against the Knicks for 27 points. They shadowed him everywhere, disrupting the pick-and-pop action that usually springs Diaw for open jump shots.
That should have opened shots for others, but only point guard D.J. Augustin (10 points on 3-of-6) took advantage.
Thomas shifted from power forward to small forward to help compensate for the loss of Corey Maggette, who suffered a strained hamstring against the Knicks and will be sidelined two to four weeks.
That left Derrick Brown as the starter at small forward, and he got in immediate foul trouble. Thomas came in, and kept putting up corner jump shots. He kept missing, though, and finished the half with two points.
The Hawks, coming off a triple-overtime home loss to the Miami Heat Thursday, actually played like the fresher team. The Hawks played without sixth man Tracy McGrady (bruised knee), but coach Larry Drew still reached deep into his bench after a long night for his starters.
Jannero Pargo and ex-Bobcat Vladimir Radmanovic each responded with seven first-half points.
The Bobcats leave on a two-game trip, playing at Indiana tonight then against the Knicks in New York Monday.