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Hawks edge Bobcats

POSTED: October 22, 2008 5:01 a.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Joe Johnson scored 22 points and Mike Bibby added nine of his 14 points in the final 3 minutes as the Atlanta Hawks held off Charlotte 102-96 on Saturday, keeping Bobcats coach Larry Brown winless in his newest job.

With both teams keeping their starters in the closing moments of the exhibition game, Bibby outscored Jason Richardson, who had seven of his 17 points in the final 2:40.

Flip Murray came off the bench to score 18 for Atlanta (4-2), which overcame spotty shooting, plenty of foul trouble and growing pains with its new, bigger lineup.

Acie Law’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds left put Atlanta ahead 98-92.

Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 11 rebounds, but got little help up for the frontcourt-deficient Bobcats (0-5), whose disjointed offense produced 20 turnovers.

With small forward Marvin Williams missing his second straight game with a sprained left thumb, Hawks coach Mike Woodson again started a big lineup featuring Zaza Pachulia at center, moving Al Horford to power forward and Josh Smith to small forward.

Making nine of its first 13 3-point shots and with Johnson schooling Richardson on the perimeter, Atlanta built as much as a 10-point lead.

Raymond Felton (20 points) and Gerald Wallace, who left Thursday’s loss to Orlando with back pain, had 13 points and eight rebounds.



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