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Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010

Johnson scores 27, Hawks stop Celtics

ATLANTA (AP) Joe Johnson was already looking ahead to the playoffs as he sought perspective on the Atlanta Hawks' first season sweep of the Celtics in 11 years.

News photo
Rejection: Golden State's Ronny Turiaf soars to block the shot of Charlotte's Boris Diaw on Friday night. AP PHOTO

Johnson scored 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks beat Boston 100-91 to complete the four-game sweep.

The Hawks (30-15) completed the sweep of the regular-season series to move one-half game ahead of the Celtics (29-15) for second place in the Eastern Conference.

Johnson says the Hawks will have to prove it again in the postseason.

"It means nothing, to be honest," Johnson said. "It just means we swept them in the regular season; the postseason is a totally different game."

Jamal Crawford had 28 points as the Hawks recovered after Boston cut a 14-point deficit to one in the third quarter.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with a season-high 35 points.

Boston has lost five of seven, including losses to Orlando and Atlanta in back-to-back days.

"I don't really know if we could have won the game tonight, the way the Hawks were playing," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Especially coming off a back-to-back, this is a tough team to play."

Pierce said his team "plays in spurts."

"That seems to be the problem right now," Pierce said. "Overall, I liked our fight tonight, but it wasn't enough."

Cavaliers 94, Pacers 73

In Indianapolis, LeBron James finished with 22 points, a season-high 13 assists and nine rebounds, the third time in six games that he missed a triple-double by a single rebound.

Thunder 101, Nuggets 84

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 30 points and the Thunder snapped Denver's nine-game winning streak by limiting the Nuggets to their lowest scoring output of the season.

Lakers 99, 76ers 91

In Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant scored all but two of his 24 points in the second half as Los Angeles won its third straight.

Wizards 81, Nets 79

In East Rutherford, N.J., Earl Boykins hit a jumper with less than a second to play and Washington won its first game since guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended.

Bobcats 121, Warriors 110

In Oakland, Calif., Stephen Jackson scored 30 points in his return to Oracle Arena, and Gerald Wallace had 30 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte.

Jazz 101, Kings 94

In Salt Lake City, Paul Millsap tied his career high with 32 points in his first start of the season and added 14 rebounds and seven assists as Utah won its fifth straight.

Bulls 108, Hornets 106 (OT)

In New Orleans, Luol Deng scored 26 points, including a putback with 0.2 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

Rockets 104, Trail Blazers 100

In Houston, Aaron Brooks scored 33 points, Carl Landry added 21 and the Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak at home.

Spurs 104, Grizzlies 97

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 19 points, and Manu Ginobili and Roger Mason led a strong effort by the Spurs' reserves.

Heat 92, Pistons 65

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and Udonis Haslem added 16 for Miami, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

Timberwolves 111, Clippers 97

In Minneapolis, Al Jefferson scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves ran past Los Angeles.



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