Originally created 12/18/06

NBA Notes: Hawks continue to struggle

NEXT GAME: Utah Jazz, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

TV: SportSouth

RECORD: 9-14

After opening the season 4-1, Atlanta is 5-13 in its past 18 games.

Despite getting leading scorer Joe Johnson back, the Hawks lost 106-104 to the Bulls in OT on Saturday.

Johnson, who missed four games with a right calf strain, had 23 points in nearly 45 minutes. But he missed a jumper with 3.9 seconds left. The Bulls rebounded and Kirk Hinrich hit a free throw with 1.9 seconds left to seal it.

"I was pretty much exhausted. I tried to give the team the best I had,'' Johnson said. "It was tough."


Hornets: Guard Peja Stojakovic had lower back surgery, and the team gave no timetable for his return.

Stojakovic, a three-time All-Star who has missed nine games, had a disc fragment removed. He initially was diagnosed with back spasms.

The Hornets also said forward David West will have surgery on his right elbow.

Raptors: Point guard Jose Calderon was removed from the court on a stretcher and placed in a neck brace Sunday after injuring his lower back on a rebound against Golden State.

Tests revealed he sustained just a bruise to his left lower back. He's listed as day-to-day, and did not accompany the team on its flight to Phoenix after the game.


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