An impressive comeback for the home team, though one necessitated by the Hawks’ lack of interest in playing defense in the first half and to some extent in the third quarter
Al Horford made the most of his rare (despite playing the entire second half) second-half touches, adding 8 points on 4 shots and 3 assists to his first-half totals, and Josh Smith, after using five of six field goal attempts on jump shots in the first three quarters, took six of seven* shots at the rim in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 essential points in the final 12 minutes.
"This could have been a really bad loss going into Miami," coach said. "That's just not a good feeling."
Other than that final play, Cousins had probably his best game of this road trip, scoring 20 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks as well. He had some trouble late though dealing with Al Horford, who had a new career high 7 blocks, to go with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
Seconds before J.J.'s game-clinching free throws, Evans had schooled Damien Wilkins to put in an easy layup to tie the game at 98-98. Hawks coach Larry Drew had inserted Wilkins, a 31-year-old veteran roleplayer who averages a few minutes a week, specifically to guard 'Reke on the important possession, thus conceding any votes he would have gotten for Coach of the Year.