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01/15/2012 12:43 AM EST
Hawks rally from 18 down, beat Timberwolves 93-91
ATLANTA 93, MINNESOTA 91
By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) -- Joe Johnson wasn't too concerned when Atlanta
trailed Minnesota by 18 points late in the third quarter.
He could sense the Hawks were finally figuring out how to defend
"We started focusing in on him and doubling him a lot more and
trying to make it tough for him, but he's a load down there,
man," Johnson said. "He did a great job of keeping them in the
ballgame. He's a hell of a player."
Johnson scored 25 points, Ivan Johnson hit the clinching free
throws with 4.6 seconds remaining and the Hawks rallied from 18
points down to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 93-91 on Saturday
Love missed a potential game-winning 3-point attempt at the
buzzer, but finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds for
Minnesota, which was trying to win consecutive road games for
the first time since last Feb. 7-8 at New Orleans and Houston.
The Timberwolves were coming off a seven-point victory Friday
against the Hornets.
"It's my fourth year in the league, so I've had a lot of teams
come back us, especially last year, so you never feel like a
game is over no matter how far ahead you are," Love said. "'We
started to shoot too many jump shots and didn't get the ball
inside enough. Plus, it seemed like they hit every single shot
down the stretch."
Jeff Teague added 20 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, who
overcame a season-high 20 turnovers to win their second straight
game after losing Al Horford to a torn pectoral muscle that will
sideline the starting center for three to four months.
"Every game is not going to be perfect," Joe Johnson said.
"You're going to have to win them ugly sometimes, and tonight
was definitely an ugly game. I'm just glad we came out on top."
Rookie Ricky Rubio, starting his second game in the last two
nights, had 18 points and 12 assists for Minnesota. With 3:40
left in the third quarter, Rubio's 12-foot runner from the left
baseline gave the Timberwolves the game's biggest lead at 18.
Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman was nearly speechless after
watching a fourth quarter in which his team was outscored 30-20,
was outrebounded 12-8 and committed five turnovers to the Hawks'
There were five lead changes and the score was tied six times in
the final period, but Minnesota never led after Love's two free
throws made it 86-84 with 2:41 remaining.
"I don't have anything to say," Adelman said. "Our guys did
everything they could to win that game and it just didn't
happen. That's all I have to say."
Atlanta brought in Ivan Johnson and Jason Collins to contest
Love inside and used a zone defense to close the passing lanes,
helping the Hawks go on a 23-2 run. Teague's 3 capped the run
with 8:48 remaining to put the Hawks up 76-73 and give them a
lead for the first time since the game's first minute.
"It's our fault," Rubio said. "We just stopped running when they
did that zone. We stopped scoring. When you are 18 up, you have
to control the game. We have to learn about that. We didn't know
how to offense that zone."
Ivan Johnson, a former NBA D-League standout, finished with 10
points and 11 rebounds while playing a season-high 25 minutes in
"I just like to play defense," Ivan Johnson said. "I knew he
couldn't put the ball on the floor too well, so just get up in
him, make him put it on the floor, make him pass it so he can't
score on me."
Love scored 30 points for the 12th time in his career and
finished with a double-double for an NBA-leading 12th time, but
the stoic Ivan Johnson didn't seem too impressed.
"My thing is don't really watch basketball so I don't know who
anybody is," he said. "I know the main ones, like Kobe (Bryant),
(Dwyane) Wade and LeBron (James). Even if I did (know Love), I
wouldn't be afraid. We're playing basketball."
NOTES: Hawks F Marvin Williams returned to the lineup and had
eight points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes. Williams missed
the last three games with a sprained left ankle. "It's probably
going to be sore in the morning, but I'll be in here getting
treatment and be ready to go on Monday," Williams said. The
Hawks host Toronto at 4 p.m. on Monday. ... Minnesota F Michael
Beasley (right foot sprain) and reserve G Jose Barea (left
ankle) did not make the two game road trip. ... Hawks reserve G
Tracy McGrady missed his third straight game with back spasms.
... The Timberwolves will host Sacramento on Monday.
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