Free throw woes in late situations have plagued the Atlanta Hawks in recent weeks but Joe Johnson sank four straight in the final moments as the Hawks held on for a 105-101 win over the New Jersey Nets.
The Hawks jumped out to an early 31-18 lead and then were outscored in every quarter thereafter by the Nets. New Jersey used a solid stroke from three-point range to stay close but it was the Hawks that made enough plays down the stretch to ensure the victory.
Josh Smith came up with his third straight solid performance finishing with 26 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Joe Johnson was equally effective finishing 9-15 from the field for 22 points and also chipped in six assists. Jeff Teague hit all three of his three-point attempts and tossed in 20 points and four assists. Al Horford and Vladimir Radmanovic scored 14 points each to round out the Hawks players in double figures.
New Jersey got 20 points from Anthony Morrow and 19 points from MarShon Brooks as they kept the pressure on the Hawks in the fourth. Brooks and Morrow combined to go 7-12 from three-point range and the Nets as a team finished 11-22. After a slow start, Deron Williams finished with 15 points and 14 assists despite shooting 6-17 from the field. Kris Humphries added 13 points and seven boards before fouling out in the game's final moments.
Atlanta improves to 7-3 on the season and will be back in action on Wednesday night when they will wrap up their two game road trip in Indiana against the Pacers. New Jersey falls to 2-8 with the loss and travel to Denver on Wednesday with a matchup against the Nuggets.