Originally created 03/08/06

Hawks best Warriors behind Johnson's 42



ATLANTA - Joe Johnson scored a career-high 42 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks past Jason Richardson and the Golden State Warriors, 111-106 on Tuesday night.

Richardson also scored 42, equaling the best performance of his career, but it wasn't enough to prevent Golden State from its seventh loss in eight games.

Golden State led 80-79 heading to the fourth quarter but went cold offensively, making only nine of 26 shots during the final 12 minutes after hitting nearly 50 percent in the first three periods.

Atlanta was sloppy with the ball, committing half of its 18 turnovers in the fourth, but finally took advantage of the Warriors' shooting woes.

Johnson essentially clinched it on a three-point play with 2:02 remaining. He missed a jumper from beyond the arc, only to have Al Harrington snare the long rebound and pass to Johnson streaking down the lane. He flipped in a shot over his head while being hammered by Derek Fisher, then made the free throw to give the Hawks a 100-91 lead.

Playing the entire 48 minutes, Johnson eclipsed his previous career high of 40 points, accomplished twice before this season. He set the tone early on, scoring the first 12 points for the Hawks.

Before the game, Hawks coach Mike Woodson presented his player with a Team USA jersey, marking his selection as one of 23 players to the national team.


CAVALIERS 106, RAPTORS 99

In Cleveland, Flip Murray scored 24 points in his best game for Cleveland and a tired-looking LeBron James had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Cavaliers struggled to their third win in a row.

James played 44 minutes - his average of late - but failed to lead the Cavs in scoring for the first time in 24 games. However, the All-Star forward made three huge plays down the stretch.


KNICKS 107, PACERS 92

IN INDIANAPOLIS, JALEN ROSE SCORED 21 POINTS AND JAMAL CRAWFORD ADDED 16 TO HELP NEW YORK WIN CONSECUTIVE GAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EIGHT WEEKS.

New York, which had lost 16 of its past 18 games and had the NBA's second-worst record, overcame a horrible start, pulled within one point at halftime and took control with a flurry of 3-pointers at the start of the third quarter.


CELTICS 116, WIZARDS 115 (OT)

IN WASHINGTON, PAUL PIERCE MADE A 22-FOOTER AT THE BUZZER TO HELP BOSTON BEAT WASHINGTON IN OVERTIME.

PIERCE SCORED 31 POINTS, INCLUDING THE CELTICS' LAST SEVEN POINTS IN OVERTIME, TO SECURE THE WIN.

GILBERT ARENAS LED WASHINGTON WITH 39 POINTS, INCLUDING ALL 11 OF THE WIZARDS' OVERTIME POINTS.