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Wizards Lose To Hawks 99-95 In A Close Contest

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson finished with 25 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks over the Washington Wizards, 99-95, at a soldout Philips Arena.

Al Horford chipped in 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Jamal Crawford tallied 15 points in a reserve role in Atlanta's home opener. Mike Bibby and Josh Smith both added 12 points in the win. Smith also had 10 rebounds.

John Wall, the first overall selection in this summer's NBA draft, had 28 points and nine assists. Al Thornton added 24 points and seven rebounds.

Yi Jianlian's jumper tied the game at 72 for the Wizards, but the Hawks used a 9-0 run to take control. Zaza Pachulia's two free throws capped the burst, which was started by seven straight points from Johnson.

Washington tied the game on an Andray Blatche layup with 4:44 remaining, but Johnson responded with five straight points to give Atlanta a slim lead. Bibby's layup culminated Atlanta's 7-0 run for a 91-84 cushion.

With the Hawks up by five, Wall attempted a desperation three-pointer with 38.9 seconds remaining, but the ball rimmed out. On the ensuing possession a missed Crawford three returned possession to the Wizards, and Washington head coach Flip Saunders called a quick timeout.

Out of the stoppage, Wall missed a driving layup, and from there the game was decided at the free throw line. Thornton went 1-of-2 to trim the Atlanta lead at four, and in the final six seconds Horford and Yi exchanged free throws.

Despite the loss, the Wizards did shoot better than Atlanta, going 38-of-76 from the field, compared to Atlanta's 34-of-81, but it was the Hawks' defense that was the edge as they outrebounded the Wizards 43-34.

Thornton had 10 points in the first quarter to give Washington a 27-18 lead after 12 minutes of play.

The Hawks got a boost from their bench players in the second quarter as they took a small 44-40 lead going into the half.

The Wizards tied the game at 70 after three quarters, Wall contributed 12 of his team high 28, including 6-of-8 from the free throw line entering the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

The Hawks went an impressive 26-of-30 from the free throw line, including 9- of-11 in the fourth quarter...The Wizards led by as many as 11...Next up for Wall and the Wizards is a visit from No. 2 selection Evan Turner and the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. Both teams are without a win.