EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The way the Hawks mobbed Tyronn Lue at halfcourt after his game-winning shot in overtime, one might have thought Atlanta won a title instead of stretching a road winning streak to three games.
You have to start somewhere.
Lue hit a 23-foot jumper at the buzzer to lift the Hawks to a 101-99 overtime victory against the New Jersey Nets on Sunday, posting their first three-game road winning streak since December 2000.
"This was a big win for our team," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "This is the second game I've had my nine-man rotation due to all the injuries. From a coaching standpoint it's nice to see us pull through like we did, but we still have a long way to go."
The win was the fifth in seven games for the Hawks (18-28), which put them 3½ games behind Miami (22-25) in the race for the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
Joe Johnson scored 37 points and Josh Smith atoned for a sub-par game by scoring six of his 14 points in overtime to help the Hawks win their ninth road game. That's more than they won on the road all last season.
Lue's game-winning shot came after Vince Carter hit a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game at 99 with 2.9 seconds to play.
After a time out, Lue took the inbound pass, dribbled to the 3-point line and launched his game-winner with his foot on the line. The Hawks tackled him at halfcourt seconds after the shot hit nothing but net.
Vince Carter had 27 points to lead the Nets, who lost their third straight since returning from a West Coast road trip. It also marked their fourth loss late in a game in the past eight games.
"It's a tough loss," Carter said. "We can't be inconsistent and up and down during the course of the game. With us down bodies, we have to come out and play hard and scrappy from start to finish."
The Hawks' best season on the road since 2000-01 was 10-31 in 2003-04. Their three-game winning streak in 00-01 came in a year when they went 7-34 away from home.
The Hawks came close to blowing this streak, squandering leads of seven and four points in the final 3:23 of regulation. They had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Smith, who was 2-for-14 before the OT, missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the right corner.
"We didn't give up," said Smith, who also had 10 rebounds. "We didn't stop fighting."
In the extra period, Smith had consecutive dunks to give Atlanta a 93-92 lead with 2:07 to go.
A driving layup by Carter put the Nets back in front, but Smith hit a baby hook in the lane and Lue hit a jumper after a Carter turnover for a 97-94 lead with 14.4 seconds to play.
Two free throws by Carter closed the gap to a point with 11.4 seconds to play. Lue stretched the lead to 99-96 with two free throws with 9.4 seconds left, but Carter nailed a wide-open 3-pointer after taking a pass from Kidd.
Lue then nailed the game winner, just as Mike Bibby of Sacramento, Monta Ellis of Golden State and Cuttino Mobley of the Clippers did in the Nets' frustrating recent road trip.
New Jersey staged two impressive comebacks to force the extra session.
Down 82-75 after Smith hit a 3-pointer with 3:23 to play, the Nets scored seven straight points, tying the game on two free throws by Bostjan Nachbar with 1:45 to go.
The Hawks came right back and scored the next four points. Marvin Williams hit a jumper from the left wing and Johnson hit a fadeaway late in the shot clock for an 86-82 lead with 43.7 seconds to play.
However, Carter hit a layup and Kidd found Marcus Williams for a game-tying fastbreak layup at 86-all with 11 seconds left.
- The game was the third at the Continental Airlines Arena in 24 hours. Seton Hall and West Virginia played a basketball game at noon Saturday. The Sabres and Devils played an NHL game at 7:30 that night. The Hawks and Nets tipped off at noon Sunday.
- New Jersey missed eight free throws in the fourth quarter, and they were 20 of 34 for the game.
- The Hawks win snapped at nine-game losing streak in this building.