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Charlotte at Atlanta

Venue: Philips Arena

Even though the results were different, the Atlanta Hawks have played well the last two games without their leading scorer.

After falling on a late shot in their last contest and with Joe Johnson being a game-time decision, Atlanta hopes for a more favorable outcome against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.

The Hawks (43-24), who are tied with Boston for third in the Eastern Conference, return home after splitting a pair of games without Johnson (Achilles' tendinitis). After defeating league-worst New Jersey by 24 points Tuesday, Atlanta appeared on its way to its fourth straight win Wednesday against Toronto before Chris Bosh hit a shot with 2.1 seconds remaining to lead the Raptors to a 106-105 victory.

After leading by 12 at one point, the Hawks were outscored 31-19 in the fourth quarter. Jamal Crawford, who scored a season-high 33, was held to four over the final 12 minutes.

"I thought we played pretty steady throughout the ball game," coach Mike Woodson said. "But coming down the stretch we just unraveled and didn't make the plays that we needed to make."

Despite the loss, it was another outstanding game by Crawford, who tallied 25 in the win over the Nets and shot 56.0 percent versus Toronto. For the season, Crawford is averaging 17.9 points, but scoring 22.1 points per game this month.

Crawford may need to step up again Friday. Johnson, who averages 21.5 points, is day-to-day, but he wasn't listed in the team's starting lineup on the Hawks' official Web site.

Crawford scored 24 in a 103-89 home win over the Bobcats (35-32) on Jan. 22 in the most recent meeting between the teams. Atlanta has won five straight at Phillips Arena over Charlotte including a 103-83 victory Nov. 6.

The loss in January to Atlanta began a 7-12 stretch for the Bobcats. After losing by 24 at Boston on March 3, however, they have won seven of eight, including 100-92 over Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Stephen Jackson scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to help Charlotte rally from a 19-point first-half deficit. Stephen Graham matched a career high with 19 points while filling in for the injured Gerald Wallace (ankle).

The come-from-behind win came hours after Michael Jordan was approved as the first former player to be a majority owner of an NBA team.

"I say this all the time, that there's a different energy when he's around, in the building, in the locker room, among the players," coach Larry Brown said.

Brown's team continues to play at its best against playoff contenders. Among the other teams it has beaten during the last eight games are the Lakers, Miami and Orlando.

Charlotte may be joining those teams in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Bobcats are in sixth place in the East, 4 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Chicago.

"We're playing like we want to be a playoff team," Jackson told the Bobcats' official Web site.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Odds
Charlotte 5.5 Atlanta -5.5
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Charlotte3rd Southeast 4339.524118-2Won 3
Atlanta4th Southeast 3844.463167-3Won 1

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J TaylorAchilles
J JenkinsBack
Key Players
, SF
41.0 Min. Per Game 38.0 Joe<br>Johnson
, SG
18.2 Pts. Per Game 21.3
2.1 Ast. Per Game 4.9
10.0 Reb. Per Game 4.6
48.4 Field Goal % 45.8
37.1 Three Point % 36.9
77.6 Free Throw % 81.8
Team Rankings
Charlotte Bobcats1980.49
Atlanta Hawks596.79
Series Game Log
Jan 8AtlantaATL 97-87
Feb 4AtlantaIND 89-85
Feb 18 @ IndianaIND 108-98
Apr 6 @ IndianaATL 107-88
Apr 19 @ IndianaATL 101-93
Apr 22 @ Indiana 
Apr 24Atlanta 
Apr 26Atlanta 
Apr 28 @ Indiana 
May 1Atlanta 
May 3 @ Indiana 
Other Games
Det 102 Final
Ind 106
OKC 115 Final
Tor 89
Phi 88 Final
NY 92
Cle 92 Final
Chi 85
Bos 94 Final
Hou 87
GS 116 Final
SA 147
Utah 100 Final
Pho 110
Wash 74 Final
Port 76
Mil 114 Final
Sac 108
Min 96 Final
LAL 104