A Much Needed Win
The Hawks did not lead from start to finish in tonight’s 97-87 win at the Highlight Factory. But after falling in an early 1-0 hole against the Pacers they quickly ran off eight straight points and proceeded to turn in one of the bigger wins of the season. Josh Smith had another gaudy stat line with 28 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots to help the Hawks avoid a winless four-game homestand.
Atlanta dominated the glass behind Smoove, Big Z (8 rebounds) and Marvin (7) to finish with a 45-33 rebounding advantage over Indiana. Hawks coaches and players alike had attributed the recent slide to a lack of energy, but the strong work on the boards and outscoring the Pacers 28-11 on the break are proof that the intensity was there for all four quarters tonight.
“Energy was the difference tonight,” Coach Drew stated after the game. “We’re like night and day when we play with energy.”
“Our energy level was great for 48 minutes,” captain Joe Johnson concurred. “Even when they made a run, we were able to sustain it and make a run of our own. We were relentless on the glass.”
The Hawks will need another good effort on Friday night in Orlando, as the Magic are again playing good basketball and posted a convincing win over the Heat tonight, 102-89.
– The Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak with 97-87 win over Indiana at Philips Arena on Wednesday.
– Josh Smith was a stat stuffer, posting 28 points (11-17 FGs, 2-2 3FGs, 4-6 FTs), 12 rebounds, season-high 5 steals, 3 assists and 3 blocks to lead Atlanta … Joe Johnson added 20 points, season-high tying 8 assists and 6 rebounds, while Kirk Hinrich (season-best 17) and Tracy McGrady (13) combined for 30 points off the bench.
– With scored knotted at 10, the Hawks ripped off an 18-2 run on their way to a 32-21 lead after one quarter.
– Indiana crept back in it, cutting the deficit to 7 in the second quarter, but Atlanta restored order with an 17-4 burst , taking a 59-41 advantage at the break.
– The Pacers wouldn’t go away, winning the third quarter 31-21 and getting within 7 again in the fourth, but the Hawks made the plays down the stretch to secure the win.
– Danny Granger led the Pacers with 21 points.
– Atlanta won the rebounding battle 45-33 and outscored the Pacers 28-11 in fastbreak points.
– The Hawks are back in action on Friday at Orlando (7pm on SportSouth HD, 680 AM and 93.7 FM).