In the midst of three games in three nights the last thing the Atlanta Hawks needed was a triple overtime loss to start the stretch.
Now, they must bounce back quickly, as they visit the Charlotte Bobcats for the first of two games in less than a week between the Southeast Division rivals.
The Hawks just ran out of steam on Thursday against the Miami Heat, falling 116-109. Miami was without both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but Chris Bosh sank a game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.
"There was a total, total mental letdown," Hawks coach Larry Drew said of his team which had beaten Miami on Monday. "I didn't see the sense of urgency I saw in Miami. The tendency is to let your guard down, and we certainly did."
Atlanta was led by Joe Johnson's 20 points, but he was blocked by Shane Battier on a driving layup at the end of the second overtime, and the Hawks missed on all seven of their shots in the third OT.
"It was just a team that came in here and was hungry," Johnson said of the Heat. "Whether we relaxed because they had a few guys out is something we can't worry about. I don't think we got off to the start we would have liked to -- kinda got down a little bit, but was able to get back in the game."
"This by far has to be my worst defeat here as a Hawk," Horford said. "I didn't feel like we wanted to win this game."
Charlotte, meanwhile, will be trying to make it two in a row after dismantling the New York Knicks on Wednesday, as Boris Diaw scored 27 points and Gerald Henderson finished with 24 to lead the Bobcats in a 118-110 win.
The Bobcats had lost four consecutive games heading into Wednesday's contest, but shot better than 55 percent to earn the victory. Diaw and Henderson combined to make 22-of-28 field goal attempts, while Byron Mullens added 16 points off the bench on 6-of-8 shooting.
D.J. Augustin had 14 points, 10 assists and six rebounds in the win.
"I think we started the game with a different mindset and were very disappointed by the game in Cleveland," Diaw said. "We needed a reaction and that came tonight. We know now what kind of basketball we have to play. We know what is a good game, and that's what we have to do. We have to reproduce what we did tonight."
All the news was not great, though, as forward Corey Maggette strained his left hamstring in the win and is not expected to play tonight.
Atlanta, which is in the midst of eight games in 11 days, has lost four of its last five and nine of its last 11 in Charlotte.