Williams brings Hawks back

  • Follow NBA

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Moments after scoring 29 points and keying Atlanta's comeback win by constantly getting fouled and making free throws, Marvin Williams was propped up on a training table and hooked up to an IV.

Charlotte's D.J. Augustin (left) attempts a reverse layup against Atlanta's Mike Bibby during the first half Friday.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Charlotte's D.J. Augustin (left) attempts a reverse layup against Atlanta's Mike Bibby during the first half Friday.

Picking up the scoring slack from sick All-Star Joe Johnson can take a lot of out of you.

Williams overcame cramps that once left him sprawled on the floor in agony to hit 18 of 20 free throws Friday night, spearheading the Hawks' comeback from a 17-point deficit in their 102-97 victory over the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats.

With Williams unable to talk to reporters, his teammates were left to discuss the significance of beating Minnesota and Charlotte without Johnson, their top scorer who remained in Atlanta with flulike symptoms.

"We played two teams that have been playing pretty well," said Maurice Evans, who added 17 points while starting for Johnson.

"For us to get these wins without Joe and allow him to get back healthy, now we can go home and build momentum going into the All-Star break."

With guard D.J. Augustin struggling in his return from an abdominal injury, Charlotte coach Larry Brown turned to an unusual lineup that included little-used Shannon Brown in the final minute.

Brown then threw away an inbounds pass to Josh Smith with Charlotte trailing by three. Facing the same deficit in the closing seconds, Brown drove to the basket and had his shot swatted by Smith.

Mike Bibby hit two clinching free throws with 2 seconds left to snap Atlanta's five-game losing streak in Charlotte despite getting only five points and four rebounds from Al Horford.

"Marvin took over for us," Horford said. "He really was aggressive going to the rim and getting fouled."

The parade to the free-throw line didn't sit well with Larry Brown, who sarcastically referred to Williams as LeBron James.

"It's tough when you play against LeBron and they keep putting him on the line," Brown said.

"Every time we play LeBron and Kobe (Bryant) and people like that, they shoot 20 free throws. It's tough. I'm just being facetious there."

Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 19 rebounds and Raymond Felton added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Bobcats, but couldn't stop Atlanta's 35-22 onslaught in the third quarter that turned the game around.

Atlanta built its lead to 94-86 lead on Williams' two free throws with 4:20 left.

Charlotte, in its first home game in two weeks following a 1-4 West Coast trip, committed just one turnover in a crisp first half that produced as much as a 17-point lead as little-used Cartier Martin scored 10 points in less than four minutes early in the second quarter.


Loading...