Hawks 105, Rockets 99
The Hawks had suffered four straight home losses this season before continuing their history of home success against the Rockets. Houston has lost 20 of its last 27 games in Atlanta, including three straight.
A basket by Johnson gave Atlanta an 86-82 lead, but a 3-pointer by Rafer Alston tied the game at 86-86 with 5:48 left. The Rockets took their first lead of the second half on a free throw by McGrady.
The Hawks recovered to lead 94-88 with 3:13 left following a fallaway jumper by Johnson over Shane Battier. Following a missed jumper from the corner by McGrady, Williams sank a shot for a 96-90 lead with 1:40 left.
The Hawks led 98-91 following two free throws by Zaza Pachulia, but McGrady nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 98-94 with 1:07 left.
McGrady, fouled by Johnson on a 3-pointer with 20.9 seconds left, made the three free throws to cut Atlanta’s lead to 101-99.
Williams answered with two free throws, and McGrady missed a lay-up attempt on the other end of the floor.
Alston scored 23 for Houston, which lost for only the fourth time in 13 games. Juwan Howard added 19.
The Rockets held the Hawks to their lowest point total of the season in a 94-68 win in Houston on Dec. 29. The Hawks enjoyed more offensive success Friday night, leading 50-45 at halftime and 74-73 entering the fourth quarter.
McGrady had 17 points in the first half but was 2 for 9 from the field after making his first four shots. ^Notes: Houston C Yao Ming, who suffered a broken bone under his right knee on Dec. 23, wore a large brace on the knee as he took shots before the game. … Anthony Johnson, acquired in a trade Thursday, arrived in Atlanta on Friday night but was not in uniform or on the bench for the game. … Tyronn Lue sat out his seventh straight game with a hamstring injury. He hopes to practice Saturday and possibly return next week.