Published November 28, 2012
| Sports Network
Atlanta, GA – Ben Gordon made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but never got a chance to knock down a sixth in the closing seconds as the Charlotte Bobcats fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 94-91, at Philips Arena.
The Hawks came away with their first six-game winning streak in two seasons despite Gordon erupting for 20 points in the final 12 minutes.
Atlanta, which twice denied Gordon the ball down the stretch, got 17 points apiece from Josh Smith, Al Horford and Lou Williams, with Smith and Horford adding 13 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Gordon netted 26 points, fellow reserve Ramon Sessions added 18 points and eight assists, and Kemba Walker totaled 15 points, five boards and five helpers in the loss.
Charlotte was coming off a franchise-worst 45-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday and fell for the third time in four games.
"Especially with the [Oklahoma City] performance, to come back here against a hot Atlanta team and play with great integrity showed a lot," Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap said encouragingly.
Atlanta's lead was 71-65 heading to the fourth and reached double digits, 81-70, before Gordon caught fire from 3-point range. His three makes from long distance in less than two minutes kept the Bobcats within striking distance, and a 7-0 run -- highlighted by Sessions' steal and dunk -- cut the deficit to 90-88 with 1:49 to play.
Williams stopped the run with a layup, and Bismack Biyombo missed an open jumper from the foul line at the other end. Smith had a chance to extend the lead even further, but missed two at the foul line, and Gordon connected on yet another triple with 29.1 seconds remaining for a 92-91 affair.
"(Gordon) really kept them in the game. He did a great job," Horford said.
A deep try from Williams hit the rim and bounced over the backboard to give Charlotte the ball with 5.2 ticks remaining. After a timeout, Sessions was inbounding the ball from the scorer's table and threw a chest pass towards Gordon at the top of the key. Smith came off his defender and shielded Gordon as the ball flew by and bounced idly out of bounds, with replay confirming Smith never touched the ball.
With 4.1 seconds left, Horford sank two at the foul line for a three-point lead, and the Bobcats never found Gordon on their final possession. Instead, it was Byron Mullens missing a leaning 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the comeback bid.
Atlanta scored 11 of the game's first 13 points, but the Bobcats weren't about to get blown out of the building for a second straight game.
They rallied to pull within 20-18 at the end of the opening quarter, and used an 18-2 run in the second to jump ahead, with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's long jumper resulting in a 42-35 lead with under three minutes left in the half.
Charlotte was on top, 45-43, at the break and were up by two before Horford converted a three-point play for a 52-51 edge midway through the third. Smith then scored 13 points over a six-minute span to keep Atlanta in front, and the Hawks never trailed from that point forward.
Atlanta last won six in a row at the start of the 2010-11 campaign ... Atlanta committed nine turnovers to Charlotte's 17 ... Jeff Teague totaled 11 points and five assists for Atlanta.