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Hawks hold off Knicks

POSTED: December 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson (2) takes a shot against New York Knicks forward Quentin Richardson (23) during the fourth quarter Friday at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The Hawks won 98-95.

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ATLANTA — Marvin Williams scored 18 points, and the Atlanta Hawks beat New York 98-95 on Friday night, avoiding overtime when the Knicks’ Al Harrington missed a last-second 3-pointer.

Joe Johnson added 17 points for Atlanta, and Josh Smith had 16.

Harrington led New York with 27 points. The Knicks lost despite holding an opponent under 100 points for the first time in 12 games.

With Atlanta leading by three, Harrington missed a jumper with 34 seconds left. Atlanta took the rebound and worked the clock down before Marvin Williams missed a long jumper with 5.6 seconds left.
After a timeout, Harrington passed out to Chris Duhon, who was covered by Johnson and couldn’t take a 3-pointer 3. Duhon passed back to Harrington, who wasn’t close on his hurried last-second attempt.

David Lee added 15 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Wilson Chandler also had 15 points.

The Knicks had improved depth even as they continued to play without guard Stephon Marbury, who was ordered by team president Donnie Walsh on Monday to stay away from practices and games.

Nate Robinson had four points after missing four games because of a strained groin, and Jared Jeffries returned from a broken left fibula to make his first appearance of the season.

Jeffries had six points and seven rebounds but fell under the basket after scoring with 7:55 left to play. He limped back up the court, appearing to favor the left leg, and left the game. He didn’t return.
The Hawks used a 10-0 run to take a 48-36 lead in the second quarter. Smith scored six straight points in the run, giving him 14 points in his first 12 minutes.

Smith didn’t score again until early in the final period.

Harrington stayed hot with 20 points in the first half for the Knicks, who trailed only 57-55 at halftime and 74-71 after three quarters.

Atlanta opened the final period with a 10-3 run to stretch its lead back to 10 at 84-74. The Knicks answered with back-to-back 3-pointers by Duhon and Harrington.

Atlanta’s Mike Bibby had 10 points, including two 3-pointers in the last five minutes.

Notes: Hawks G Acie Law, suffering from flu symptoms, did not play. ... There was a sprinkling of Alabama crimson and Florida blue in the stands with fans in Atlanta for Saturday’s Southeastern Conference championship game at the Georgia Dome. ... Maurice Evans had 11 points, and Flip Murray 10 for Atlanta.



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