As bad as the jump shooting Atlanta Hawks were in the third quarter, they still somehow lead the game.
Joe Johnson has 24 points and Jamal Crawford 11 to post the Hawks to a 72-71 lead over the Chicago Bulls through three quarters at the United Center on Monday.
Luol Deng netted 19 and Derrick Rose has 11 for the Bulls, who lead by as many as six in the frame.
The Hawks still managed to end the quarter with as many points as the Bulls in the frame despite connecting on just 6-of-22 field goals and jacking up a number of ill-advised jumpers. But even with a couple of terrible ill-advised jumpers by Josh Smith and flagrant-1 call call on the other end of the floor, Atlanta goes into the fourth quarter with the lead.
How you ask?
It's all about Johnson. Atlanta's highest played and much maligned player has come up huge on a night where there were a lot of offensive breakdowns. He is nailing crucial 3-pointers and converting on crucial three-point plays to give Atlanta a chance in this one.
The Bulls have also been a bit sloppy and careless with the ball, committing eight turnovers through three frames. And the Hawks have done it on defense, getting the stops when they need to.
If Johnson can continue to carry the Hawks, Atlanta may be able to steal one here. Stay tuned.