INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers have the best record in the NBA's Central Division. It would be even better if they didn't have to play the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks have won all three meetings with the Pacers this season, including Monday night's 83-82 victory at Market Square Arena."Every game we've had the lead and haven't been able to close it," Pacers coach Larry Bird said. "Hopefully, we can bounce back from this fiasco."

Anthony Johnson, making his first start for Atlanta, scored a season-high 17 points, and Grant Long made two free throws with 3.4 seconds left as the Hawks won their fifth straight game.

Johnson filled in for Mookie Blaylock, who had the flu. Johnson said he kept waiting for Blaylock to get dressed before the game, but it never happened.

"He didn't give me any warning or anything," Johnson said with a laugh. "I feel confident, and I feel good now."

Dikembo Mutombo had 14 points and 17 rebounds for the Hawks, who overcame a 10-point deficit in the final eight minutes and held Indiana to a season-low 14 points in the last quarter.

"It's just the way the game was going," Long said of the Hawks' strong finish. "We went with a lot of different looks in that fourth quarter."

Indiana's Rik Smits scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a 20-foot jumper that put the Pacers up 81-77 with 1:31 left. But Johnson hit a jumper to cut the margin to two, and Long scored with 38 seconds left to tie it 81-81.

After Indiana's Mark Jackson missed a jumper with 21 seconds left, Long was fouled by Smits and made both free throws to give Atlanta an 83-81 lead

"I knew Rik Smits would be running at me," Long said. "I thought maybe a play or two ahead, if he comes again I'm going to show him the ball and maybe pump fake him."

Reggie Miller was then fouled as the Pacers attempted to inbound the ball, giving Indiana one free throw and possession of the ball under a new rule regarding fouls on inbound plays in the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.

Miller, who finished with 17 points, hit the free throw with 3.4 seconds left to make it 83-82. The Pacers then inbounded the ball but couldn't get a shot off before the final buzzer.

Atlanta's reserves outscored Indiana's subs 27-15.

"They came in again and gave us a tremendous lift," Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We're just starting to get in rhythm the past five games as a team. We're playing with good confidence right now."

SuperSonics 109, Mavericks 101

Gary Payton and Detlef Schrempf each scored 20 points as Seattle won at Dallas.

Billy Owens added 15 points for the Sonics, who lost four of their previous six games. Gary Trent's 20 points and nine rebounds paced the Mavericks, who lost their fourth in a row.

Nuggets 100, Clippers 88

Antonio McDyess had 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Chauncey Billups added a season-high 24 points as Denver ended a four-game losing streak.

Rodney Rogers had 17 points and Troy Hudson added 16 for the visiting Clippers, who shot 37 percent from the field against a Denver team ranked next-to-last in the league in field-goal percentage defense.

Lakers 116, Grizzlies 98

Shaquille O'Neal scored 26 points, and Glen Rice had 12 of his 24 in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles pulled away from Vancouver.

Kobe Bryant added 20 points and Dennis Rodman had 17 rebounds for the Lakers, who outscored the visiting Grizzlies 41-31 in the final period. Shareef Abdur-Rahim led Vancouver with 21 points and seven assists.