Hawks upset Cavs in OT thriller

CLEVELAND - Joe Johnson scored 25 points - six on consecutive possessions in overtime - and the surprising Atlanta Hawks won their third straight, 104-95 on Tuesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who again couldn't make their free throws.

Tyronn Lue added 19 points, 11 assists and made a buzzer-beating layup to force OT for the Hawks.

Atlanta, which has had seven consecutive losing seasons and decades of frustration, improved to 3-1, one season after the Hawks started 2-16 and didn't get win No. 3 until Dec. 10.

Zaza Pachulia added 19 points and Josh Smith 15 for the Hawks.

LeBron James scored 34 points - 24 after halftime - and Drew Gooden 21 for the Cavs, the NBA's worst free-throw shooters who went 23-of-37 from the line and missed several crucial attempts down the stretch.

James was only 5-of-11 from the 15-foot stripe, missing the second of two with 6.1 seconds left in regulation that would have put the Cavaliers ahead by three. But with another chance, Lue drove the right side and dropped a high-arching runner over James at the horn to tie it at 90-all.

Lue's 3-pointer with 4:03 left in the extra session gave the Hawks a 95-92 lead, and after Cleveland's Donyell Marshall missed two free throws, Johnson converted a three-point play to make it


After James split a pair of foul shots, Johnson, who added eight rebounds, eight assists and six turnovers in 46 minutes, drained a long 3-pointer - the Hawks were 9-of-12 on 3s - to send 20,562 fans who came out for a LeBron James bobblehead promotion home with only their souvenirs.

It was just the Hawks' second win in 11 games against the Cavs.

Atlanta, one of the league's sorriest franchises in recent years, never recovered after opening last season 0-9. But this season's Hawks are off to a flying start, and they're doing it without forward Marvin Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, who is out with a broken left hand.

Marshall's short hook in the lane with 4:49 left gave him 10,000 career points and gave the Cavaliers an 83-76 lead. But just when the Hawks appeared to be done, they soared back and tied it at 84-all on Johnson's 3-pointer with 1:58 to go.

Atlanta guard Speedy

Claxton sat the second half because of soreness in both knees. He's still building up his minutes after missing the entire preseason with a broken bone in his left hand - the same one Williams fractured.

Thanks to 14 turnovers by the Hawks, Cleveland led 38-37 at halftime despite shooting just 29 percent. However, the Cavaliers did make their free throws, hitting 10 of 12 tries.

Notes: Now in his fourth season, James has learned the importance of getting rest. He takes a 4-hour power nap on game day. ''Right after shootaround,'' he said. ''If anything important happens between 12 and 4, I probably missed it.'' ... Marshall is the 269th player to reach the 10,000-point barrier and the 130th to have that many points and 5,000 career rebounds. ... Before the game, Gooden was passing around a photo of him as a 16-year-old guarding teammate Scot Pollard during a pickup game when Gooden made his unofficial visit to Kansas. ''Look how skinny I am,'' Gooden said. ... At an average age of 23.65 years, the Hawks are the league's youngest team by more than three years.