Hawks win with Horford’s jumper
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
December 14, 2013 01:31 AM | 765 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite squandering a double-digit lead to the Wizards, the Hawks were still able to prevail Friday, thanks to Al Horford’s buzzer-beating jumper.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Despite squandering a double-digit lead to the Wizards, the Hawks were still able to prevail Friday, thanks to Al Horford’s buzzer-beating jumper.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — Pero Antic made the game-winning inbounds pass.

Al Horford said all he had to do was make the catch near the basket and then shoot a soft jumper. All in 1.8 seconds.

Just like in practice.

Horford matched his career high with 34 points, including a jumper as time expired in overtime, and the Atlanta Hawks recovered after blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Washington Wizards 101-99 on Friday night.

“We work on that in practice,” Horford said. “We had three options: Me, Paul (Millsap) or Kyle (Korver). I think they overplayed both of those guys. (Antic) gave me a great pass.”

With the game tied at 99, Antic threw the high pass over other players to Horford, who hit a short fallaway over Washington’s Trevor Booker as the buzzer sounded. A video review confirmed the shot beat the buzzer.

“It was supposed to be a lob for a dunk,” Horford said. “As soon as I got it, I shot it.”

Booker, who led Washington with 24 points and 14 rebounds, said he thought he could intercept the pass.

“It hurts,” Booker said. “I thought I could get the ball and it went over my head.

“(Horford) actually fumbled it at first and then knocked it down. I didn’t even get a chance to really contest it.”

Millsap and Korver had 16 points for Atlanta. Horford grabbed 15 rebounds.

The Hawks took their 11th straight home win in the series.

Korver’s 3-pointer gave Atlanta a 95-93 lead in overtime. After Teague had two baskets for Atlanta, each answered by Booker, Washington called a timeout with 11 seconds remaining in the extra period. John Wall’s penetration and pass set up Booker’s tying layup with 1.8 seconds remaining.

Wall, quiet most of the night, had 11 points in the fourth period and finished with 13 while shooting only 6-of-22. Martell Webster had 15 points.

Rookie Glen Rice Jr., the former star at Georgia Tech and Walton High School, had eight points off the bench.

“We just gave this game away,” Wall said, adding his fourth-quarter shots were “the same shots I took in the first half, I just didn’t make them. I struggled.”

The Wizards led 86-84 when Horford blocked a shot by Marcin Gortat. Wall fouled Horford with 5.5 seconds remaining in regulation and Horford made both free throws to tie the game. Wall, guarded by DeMarre Carroll, missed a fallaway jumper at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

The Hawks led 48-46 at halftime before outscoring the Wizards 23-15 in the third period. Washington was only 5-of-17 in the period.

Atlanta took an 80-65 lead early in the fourth quarter before the Wizards made their charge with a 16-2 run.

“We gave them life,” Horford said. “They’re a resilient team.”

Washington coach Randy Wittman said his players “didn’t do anything” before the run late in regulation.

“I’ll give them credit for staying in the fight and having an opportunity to win the game,” Wittman said. “But when you don’t play for 42 minutes, you’ve got to play perfect basketball. ... I just don’t think we were ready to play.”

Booker’s basket with 4:30 remaining cut the Hawks’ lead to 82-77. A tip-in by Gortat trimmed the lead to three points.

Following a missed 3-pointer by Korver, Wall went behind his back on a drive and basket with 2:56 remaining, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 82-81. Wall added a jumper and 3-pointer in the final 2:15 of regulation.

Korver had four 3-pointers, extending his NBA-record streak to 92 games with at least one 3.

Wizards rookie Otto Potter, playing in his third game, closed the first period with his first career field goal. Potter then made Washington’s first basket of the second period on a jumper.

NOTES: Washington’s last win at Atlanta was on Jan. 11, 2008. ... Gortat had 12 points and 10 rebounds. ... Horford also had 34 points at Utah on Feb. 27, 2013. ... Wizards F Nene (Achilles) and G Bradley Beal (leg) did not play. Webster returned after missing one game with a sprained right ankle. ... The Hawks recalled G John Jenkins from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League. Jenkins was assigned to Bakersfield on Dec. 6. ... Horford’s previous season high was 27 points at Sacramento on Nov. 5.

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