Wolves 89, Hawks 90

Johnson’s 18-footer at the buzzer lifted the Hawks to a 90-89 victory
over the league-worst Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.
 
Minnesota, which lost its fifth straight to drop to 2-15, had a one-point lead after Marko Jaric’s layin with 2.2 seconds left.
 
"Two and a half seconds is a lot,” Jaric said. "I’m upset right now. If we come out and play hard like we did in the last 40 minutes, our record will improve dramatically.” 
 
 
Matt Watson/Fanhouse posted video of Johnson’s game winning shot.  
 
 
Wolves record: 2-15
 
 
 
The Wolves trailed by 19 points in the first
quarter, and it appeared another lackadaisical effort was on the way.
But assistant Jerry Sichting, acting as head coach in place of Randy
Wittman, who had back surgery Wednesday, changed his lineup to start
the second half.
 
 
The Wolves went from lifeless to inspired when Jerry Sichting, the
acting head coach while Randy Wittman recovers at home from back
surgery, turned toward a shortened rotation he discovered that “showed
signs we had a heartbeat”: Brewer for all but 48 seconds of the second
half, Craig Smith in an expanded role and Jaric and Telfair, the team’s
two point guards, playing together again for long stretches of the
second half.
  
 
 
With rookie forward Corey
Brewer supplying the energy (he finished with a staggering 18 rebounds)
and Al Jefferson (17 points) and Craig Smith (20) handling the inside
muscle, the Timberwolves outscored the Hawks 56-34 from the time they
trailed by 19 late in the first quarter until they took the lead late
in the third quarter.
 
"That just about gave me a
heart attack," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said after the game. "You have
tip your hat to Minnesota because they almost took this game from us.
… Joe’s an All-Star, and we have to get him back playing like that.
And for him to step up tonight and make that game-winning shot says a
lot."
 
  
Antoine Walker sat out Thursday’s game after limping badly on a bum ankle in Tuesday’s home loss to the Lakers and Marko Jaric returned to the lineup in a reserve’s role after missing two games because of a sprained foot and ankle.
 
Rashad McCants also came off the bench after banging, in the morning shootaround, the right knee he had surgically repaired two summers ago. He came to the arena Friday with it too sore to play against San Antonio.
TWolves Blog Staff

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