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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hawks see off Jazz in four-OT marathon

AP

ATLANTA — Joe Johnson was exhausted by the time the Hawks and Utah Jazz had dragged each other into a fourth overtime — in Atlanta's third game in three nights, no less.

News photo
Try and keep up: Kevin Durant celebrates after making a shot against the Heat on Sunday in Oklahoma City. The Thunder won 103-87. AP

"It was unbelievable," he said. "I just had to laugh it off. I've never played in a game like that."

Johnson scored 37 points, Josh Smith added 22 and the Hawks ended Utah's six-game winning streak with a 139-133 victory Sunday night in the NBA's first quadruple-overtime game since 1997.

The four overtimes tied for the third-longest game in NBA history. It was the ninth NBA game to go four OTs and the first since Phoenix beat Portland 140-139 on Nov. 14, 1997.

Al Jefferson finished with 28 points and 17 rebounds, and Paul Millsap had 25 points and 13 boards for the Jazz before both players fouled out in the final overtime.

"We'll take a moral victory out of this one," Millsap said. "This was a good ball team we played tonight. They played excellent defense. We just didn't get it done."

Atlanta has won four straight and six of seven. The Hawks improved to 30-20 and moved one-half game ahead of Indiana for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

"It would happen on the third (straight night), but it shows the toughness of this ballclub to be able to push through that many overtimes and come out victorious," said Smith, who fouled out with 1:57 left in the first overtime. "It was a special win, and I think we'll probably appreciate this win more so than any other win during the season thus far."

Johnson ended the first quarter with 18 points after going 8 of 8 in the period. He missed eight of his next nine shots, including a potential game-winning runner with 3 seconds left in regulation, before hitting a 3-pointer that forced the third overtime.

With 16.9 seconds remaining in the fourth OT, Johnson's 20-foot jumper over C.J. Miles gave the Hawks a 135-131 lead.

"I got some great looks in that first quarter," Johnson said. "I got into a rhythm early and for whatever reason it took me a little while to get that rhythm back, but other guys stepped up and made plays."

Thunder 103, Heat 87

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds and tied his season high with eight assists, Kendrick Perkins added a season-best 16 points and the Thunder opened a difficult stretch in their schedule by beating Miami.

Spurs 93, 76ers 76

In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 21 points and the Spurs beat Philadelphia in a matchup of short-handed teams.

Celtics 88, Wizards 76

In Boston, Avery Bradley scored a career-high 23 points, and Paul Pierce added 21 points and eight rebounds to help the short-handed Celtics beat Washington.

T-Wolves 117, Nuggets 100

In Minneapolis, Kevin Love followed up his 51-point game with 30 points and 21 rebounds.

Suns 108, Cavaliers 83

In Cleveland, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris scored 22 points apiece, and Phoenix never trailed against the Cavs.

Trail Blazers 90, Warriors 87

In Portland, Raymond Felton scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 18, including a fadeaway jumper and two free throws that proved the difference in the final minute.

Grizzlies 102, Lakers 96

In Los Angeles, Rudy Gay scored 18 points and O.J. Mayo had 12 of his 16 in the fourth quarter, helping the Grizzlies avoid a winless road trip.



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