With the game on the line, Jeff Teague brought the ball down the court, nearly lost the dribble, dribbled into traffic and -- instead of passing the ball -- tried an ill-advised game-tying three pointer. The wild shot missed and the Atlanta Hawks' modest winning streak was history.
Kevin Martin netted a game-high 35 points to help the Houston Rockets erase a 14-point deficit and post a 114-109 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night at the Toyota Center.
Chuck Hayes had 19 points and 12 boards and Kyle Lowry added 17 points and dished eight assists for Houston, which extended its home winning streak to seven games.
It was a disappointing night for the Hawks, who did just about everything right in the first half. They tied a season high by scoring 63 points and posted 40 in the second alone en route to taking a 63-54 lead into the break. But Atlanta simply couldn't contain Martin and the Rockets offense in the second half.
Houston dominated the paint and took control in the third quarter, outscoring Atlanta 32-18 in the frame to turn a deficit that was as large as 14 into a five point lead.
Nevertheless, the Hawks were still right there in crunch time, as Joe Johnson rattled off six points and found Josh Smith for another bucket to give Atlanta a 102-99 lead with 3:48 left in the game.
It was just too much Martin and Luis Scola down the stretch. If Martin would kick and draw fouls, he was finding Scola, who drained a crucial jumper to post Houston to a 107-104 edge with 1:34 left.
It was still a three point game after Martin split a pair of free throws to make it 110-107 with 20.2 seconds left as the Hawks called time out. But Atlanta responded with a two-point jumper by Johnson to whittle the lead down to one as Kirk Hinrich fouled Martin on the ensuing possession.
Hinrich, Atlanta's starting point guard and 3-point specialist, fouled out of the game. Martin nailed both free throws as Teague replaced Hinrich. The ball went through Atlanta's backup point guard for the final possession and the second-year pro could not get a quality shot off.
Atlanta's four-game winning streak was history. So was a chance to secure the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Johnson netted 25 points and Josh Smith had 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who have dropped 11 of 12 in Houston.