ATLANTA - The sheepish smile on Joe Johnson's face suggested he knew what he had just accomplished when he found backcourt mate Mike Bibby on the baseline for a 17-foot jumper with 1:37 left to play. It was the Atlanta Hawks guard's 10th assist, giving him his second career triple-double and the Hawks a nine-point cushion that allowed them to begin celebrating early before the final horn signaled a 99-88 win over the Thunder on Tuesday night at Philips Arena.
Johnson, despite laboring through a cold shooting night, scored 20 points with 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
He made just eight of 23 shots in 40 minutes, but it was his nine points, six assists and four rebounds in the decisive fourth quarter that helped the Hawks outscore Oklahoma City 30-20 in the final period and send the Thunder back home at 3-26.
"He's one of the better (shooting) guards in the league," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "He doesn't get a lot of credit for being one of the top perimeter players. But the guy can do it all. ... And he had an incredible game tonight."
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 28 points, and Jeff Green (18 points and 14 rebounds) and Chris Wilcox (19 points and 12 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles. But the Thunder made just eight of 23 shots in the final period while the hot Hawks made 12 of 19 shots in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
"We made it a fourth-quarter game," Brooks said. "We just couldn't get any key stops down the stretch. ... We tried to put ourselves in a position to win the game, but Joe Johnson wouldn't let that happen."