ATLANTA — Injuries to Josh Smith and Al Horford left Marvin Williams as the only healthy starter on Atlanta’s front line.
Williams moved from small forward to power forward and showed he can play big when needed.
Williams hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 26 seconds left and matched his career high with 14 rebounds, and the Hawks overcame Caron Butler’s 32-point effort to beat the Washington Wizards 91-87 on Wednesday night.
Williams scored 21 points to help the Hawks snap a four-game losing streak.
Hawks coach Mike Woodson noted Williams also defended Washington’s Antawn Jamison, who had 18 points.
“He was huge tonight,” Woodson said. “To have to defend Jamison and still to be able to score 21 points and get 14 rebounds, that’s a man’s night.”
Mike Bibby led the Hawks with 25 points, including 15 in the third quarter.
After Williams’ go-ahead jumper from the right wing gave Atlanta an 89-87 lead, Juan Dixon and Nick Young missed shots for Washington. Flip Murray then stretched the lead with two free throws for Atlanta with 10 seconds left.
“It’s the same situation,” Jamison said. “We’re just not closing games out. We’re making the same mistakes. We’ve played it over and over again.”
The Wizards, who have lost three straight, have only one win.
“We can’t lose games like we did tonight,” Jamison said. “We have to stop the bleeding. We have to find a way to win.”
The Wizards were in position to win in the final minute.
DeShawn Stevenson sank a fallaway jumper with 1:32 left and then added another shot from the corner less than 30 seconds later to give the Wizards an 87-83 lead.
“We didn’t give up when we were down by four with a minute left,” Bibby said.
Joe Johnson, who had 19 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, answered with a 3-pointer for Atlanta with 57 seconds left to cut the lead to a point.
The Hawks opened the season with six straight wins before the four-game losing streak.