Big Al Rises Up

Monday, March 22, 2010
By Jon Newberry

Much has been made of the addition of Jamal Crawford and how is gives the Hawks another scoring option (other than Joe) down the stretch in close games. Tonight Al Horford showed that he isn’t afraid to step up and hit big shots in pressure situations. It isn’t the first time Al has hit important shots, but given the whole body of work in Sunday night’s win, it seemed important to give Horford his due.

Al entered the night knowing that he would spend a lot of time bodied up with perennial All-Star Tim Duncan, who dominated the glass with a career-high 27 rebounds earlier this season when the Spurs beat the Hawks in San Antonio. He responded by outrebounding “Big Fundamental” 18-13 (10-4 in the fourth quarter and overtime). Plus, see the highlight below for one of the best “Posterized” moments of the season.

Al scored eight of the Hawks final 16 points including a putback that tied the game in regulation and a 15-footer that established the first two-possesion lead in overtime. The Spurs double-teamed Joe as aggressively as any other team, believing that they would rather take their chances with the Hawks supporting cast. After tonight Atlanta’s opponents might have to reconsider. Joe finished with a season-high 13 assists and Al hit big shot after big shot in clutch situations.

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