ATLANTA (AP) — After an atrocious 1-for-10 night at the free throw line last week, Al Horford decided to spend extra time working on his foul shots.
"That's one of the things I always work on, and I got away from it a little bit," he said. "I think it showed when I went in that little slump."
His recent effort seems to have paid off.
Horford scored 17 points and hit two clinching free throws to help the Atlanta Hawks win their sixth straight game with a 94-91 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Josh Smith and Lou Williams also had 17 points apiece for the Hawks.
Ben Gordon scored 20 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and Ramon Sessions had 18 to lead Charlotte, which has lost two straight and three of four.
Gordon's straightaway 3-pointer with 29.1 seconds remaining cut Atlanta's lead to 92-91. The Bobcats got the ball back, but Sessions' inbounds pass from the left sideline was ruled a turnover after the officials watched replays and concluded neither Gordon nor Smith touched the ball, which bounced out of bounds on the other side of the court with 5.2 seconds to go.
"I think if I would've touched the ball, it would've gone in a different direction, which it didn't," Smith said. "It was a good call by the referees."
Horford, who finished with 11 rebounds, followed with two free throws 1.1 seconds later. Before hitting all three foul shots against Charlotte, Horford had missed 11 of his previous 12 attempts.
"I've been working on a lot and watching myself the way I'm shooting it," he said. "Now I feel confident, and tonight was big for me to make those shots."
In the fourth quarter, Gordon was 5 for 7 on 3s and hit all five free throws he attempted, but he wasn't able to give Charlotte the lead.
"I just tried to be aggressive and force the issue a little bit," Gordon said. "My teammates did a good job of finding me. That was pretty much it. It was a good night, but I much prefer to get the W."
With Gordon covered in the final seconds, Byron Mullens missed a 3 that would've tied the score at the buzzer. Horford was covering him tightly on the perimeter and challenged the shot.