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Hawks hold on, top Cats
HAWKS 4 col bw
Zaza Pachulia, left, and Charlotte Bobcats' Brevin Knight fight for a loose ball in the first half in Atlanta, Wednesday. The Hawks led by 24 at one points Wednesday night, but almost blew the lead, holding on for a 99-90 victory. - photo by Associated Press
    ATLANTA — Joe Johnson scored a season-high 36 points and Charlotte couldn’t overcome the longest field-goal drought to open an NBA game this season, helping the Atlanta Hawks beat the Bobcats 99-90 on Wednesday night.
    Johnson missed his first five shots and had only two points in the opening quarter before scoring 22 in the second.
    Much of Johnson’s early scoring came at the expense of Bobcats rookie Adam Morrison, who struggled keep up with the Hawks’ veteran. Johnson was 9-of-10 from the field, making all of his three 3-pointers, in the second period.
    Morrison, who had scored more than 20 points in three of the last four games, was held to six points, 10 below his average.
    The Hawks took a 20-point lead late in the first half and stretched the advantage to 70-46 early in the third quarter.
    Charlotte cut the lead to 83-72 at the end of third period and continued the comeback in the final one as veteran Derek Anderson took over the primary defensive assignment on Johnson. Anderson, who signed on Tuesday, was making his first appearance with the team.
    The Bobcats pulled within 91-88 before a basket by Johnson sparked the Hawks’ answer. Tyronn Lue, who had 25 points, had two baskets in the final 2 minutes for Atlanta.