ATLANTA — Joe Johnson scored 24 points and came up with a key defensive play down the stretch, leading the Atlanta Hawks to their fourth straight victory since losing All-Star center Al Horford, 92-89 over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
The Hawks closed the third period on a 14-0 run, but the Trail Blazers responded with a 13-0 spurt starting the fourth to tie it up. It was tight the rest of the way.
Atlanta was up 84-80 when a wild sequence went the home team's way. Jamal Crawford missed on a drive, but Wesley Matthews picked off an outlet pass to apparently give the Blazers another chance. Not so fast. Johnson hustled up behind Matthews to steal it back, then lobbed to Jeff Teague for a dunk.