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Harrington, Hawks humble Celtics in Boston

BOSTON (AP) -- Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks finally figured
out how to close out a game.

Al Harrington had 28 points and eight rebounds and the Atlanta
Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 103-98 Friday night to snap a
four-game losing streak.

Johnson, who finished with 20 points, hit a jumper with 1:12
left to give Atlanta a 100-98 lead. Johnson then blocked a Paul
Pierce layup the next time down the floor and made a key free throw
with 19.2 seconds left to secure the win for the Hawks.

"When the game is on the line I want to take the shot, so I
took it upon myself" said Johnson, who had eight fourth-quarter
points. "We picked it up in the fourth quarter, got some key
stops, guys knocked down some big shots and, most importantly, we
pulled out a victory."

The Hawks, who had led in the fourth quarter in each of the four
losses during the streak, outscored the Celtics 24-19 in the final
quarter.

Pierce missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt with 14.9
second remaining as Boston's three-game home winning streak came to
an end.

"Tonight we focused in the fourth quarter, defended and we
didn't turn the basketball over, which is very important,"
Harrington said. "It's a big thing because, you know, they don't
lose here, their fans don't allow them to lose."

Two of the Hawks' eight wins have come against the Celtics, who
have allowed at least 100 points in six of their last seven games.

Tyronn Lue scored 15 and Josh Smith added 11 for Atlanta.

The Hawks trailed by as many as nine in the third quarter but
Lue made a 3-pointer to cut it to 67-66 with 4:44 left. The Hawks
then took their first lead of the second half when Marvin Williams
hit two free throws with 3:09 remaining to make it 72-71.

"We just didn't execute down the stretch," Pierce said. "We
didn't make the plays and they did."

Atlanta outscored Boston 36-29 in the third and made six of 11
3-pointers in the quarter.

Tony Allen, who missed Boston's first 31 games with a knee
injury, had nine points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Delonte West and Paul Pierce each had 23 points for the Celtics,
who shot 48 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16
times.

"It was a game of small breaks and we didn't get any of them,"
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
^Notes:@ Rivers left the game early in the third quarter with the
flu but returned later. ... Rivers is the Hawks' all-time assists
leader. ... The Celtics announced before the game that first-round
draft pick Gerald Green has been assigned to the Fayetteville
(N.C.) Patriots of the NBA's development league.