A Great Win Caps a Tough Week

Sunday, January 8, 2012
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks erupted for 63 first-half points and then coasted to a 109-94 win over the Chicago Bulls at the Highlight Factory on Saturday night. Atlanta’s offensive outburst came against the team that entered the night leading the league by holding opponents to just 86.1 points per contest. The win improved the Hawks record to 3-2 this week that included four games against the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta looked energized and their execution was crisp right out of the gate, despite the fact that they were playing their third game in as many nights. Josh Smith was especially good in the early going, scoring nine of his team-high 25 points in the first quarter on 4-of-6 shooting.

One negative in the first quarter was that Marvin Williams left the game and did not return after rolling his ankle. (Stay tuned to Hawks.com for status update.) Vladimir Radmanovic quickly took advantage of the extra floor time at small forward, hitting two 3-pointers to spark an 18-2 run by the Hawks to end the half. The run put the Hawks ahead by 18 points at the break and the Bulls would never get back within single digits. Vlad finished the game 5-of-5 from behind the arc.

“I thought we came out from the very beginning and played with a lot of emotion,” Coach Drew commented after the game. “We got some transitions baskets. Defensively, we were on queue with everything we talked about. We just came out, and I thought we just took it to them.”