Joe Johnson was exhausted by the time the Hawks and Utah Jazz had dragged each other into a fourth overtime—in Atlanta’s third game in three nights, no less.
Johnson scored 37 points, Josh Smith added 22 and the Hawks ended Utah’s six-game winning streak with a 139-133 victory Sunday night in the NBA’s first quadruple-overtime game since 1997.
Al Jefferson finished with 28 points and 17 rebounds, and Paul Millsap had 25 points and 13 boards for the Jazz before both players fouled out in the final overtime.
Atlanta has won four straight and six of seven. The Hawks improved to 30-20 and moved one-half game ahead of Indiana for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
“It would happen on the third (straight night), but it shows the toughness of this ballclub to be able to push through that many overtimes and come out victorious,” said Smith, who fouled out with 1:57 left in the first overtime. “It was a special win, and I think we’ll probably appreciate this win more so than any other win during the season thus far.”
Johnson ended the first quarter with 18 points after going 8 of 8 in the period. He missed eight of his next nine shots, including a potential game-winning runner with 3 seconds left in regulation, before hitting a 3-pointer that forced the third overtime.
The Jazz, who have won only one road game when they trailed after three quarters, fell to 7-17 away from home. They began the day as one of six teams separated by only 1 1/2 games for the final five playoff spots in the Western Conference.