Johnson Paces Hawks Past Raptors in OT
Atlanta 113 Toronto 111 (OT)
TORONTO, March 1 (Ticker) -- Al Harrington and Joe Johnson combined to spoil Bryan Colangelo's coming-out party.
Harrington and Johnson scored 26 points apiece and Zaza Pachulia added 17 as the Atlanta Hawks posted a 113-111 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors to avoid a season series sweep.
"Every game we've played against them this year has been close, so it's nice to finally win one," Johnson said. "We kept ourselves in the game for the first three quarters and like the last few games, we were able to hang in there and pull out victories."
After Harrington hit a 15-foot jumper with 34 seconds remaining in regulation to give Atlanta a 105-99 lead, Mike James halved the deficit with a 3-pointer from the left corner with 25 seconds to play.
Moments later, rookie Charlie Villanueva made a steal and worked the ball to Morris Peterson, who was fouled by Josh Childress while attempting a 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left and hit all three foul shots to force overtime.
Villanueva opened the extra period with a follow dunk. Childress answered with a one-handed dunk, which led to a three-point play that gave Atlanta a 108-107 edge.
"I was mad because I didn't think it was a foul on the (3-pointer by Peterson)," Childress said. "I felt responsible for putting us into the situation that got it to overtime, so I tried to come out in overtime, be aggressive and make plays."
After Villanueva converted his own three-point play with 3:45 left for a 110-108 lead, Harrington made 1-of-2 free throws, Childress sank a hook with 3:26 to play and Johnson made a running jumper with 1:04 to go to help seal the win.
Childress scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and rookie Salim Stoudamire scored 11 points for the Hawks, who had a 49-36 rebounding edge in their third straight overtime triumph.
"We've been in a lot of close games this season and had success in overtime so we just needed to stay positive," Childress said.
"Believe it or not, we can still get the eighth playoff spot," Harrington said. "We have extra motivation playing these last 26 games and if we keep playing the way we are playing, anything can happen."
Chris Bosh scored 27 points, Villanueva added 25 with 11 rebounds and Peterson and James 21 each for the Raptors, who have lost five in a row.
"We didn't rebound at all," Bosh said. "From the beginning to the end of the game, they set the tempo on the boards and they consciously had everybody going to the boards.
The Raptors had four starters score at least 20 points for the second time in three games and only the third time in franchise history. Toronto first accomplished the feat November 13, 1996 against Philadelphia.