Marvin Williams was hungry for some of that big-game adrenaline his teammates experienced in their season opening road-win over Orlando. He'll get his chance Friday night, when the Hawks finish off the second game of a road-and-home set with their Southeast Division rivals.Williams was serving a one-game suspension during the opener and had to miss out on the post-game locker room fun after that 99-85 Hawks win in October. But he was on the floor for most of the Hawks' 106-102 loss in Wednesday's rematch at Philips Arena, despite playing with a sore left shoulder that kept him out a win over Houston Saturday and practice leading up to Wednesday.
"It was exciting to me to see my guys play like that in the opener and not even being down there was a killer," Williams said. "So I'm extra amped to get out there and be in the mix of what should be a crazy intense game for everybody."
Williams played his guts out, managing 16 points and just two rebounds on 5-for-11 shooting from the floor. But he's anxious to contribute more. And the Hawks could use a boost from their starting small forward, who has struggled from long distance as of late, making just five of his last 17 shots from beyond the three-point line.
"We're definitely more dangerous when he's outside making three-pointers because that keeps the floor spread and defenses have to respect," Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson said. "That opens the floor for me to operate a little bit more and it also makes some room for Al (Horford) and Josh to go to work inside as well.
"We've got to make sure to stay on Marv about taking shots when he has good looks, because when you get in a situation where you're not making shots like you want to it gets a little mind-boggling. It's tough when you know you've been working on it and it's just not falling. We just have to keep motivating him and he'll get back to it."
MAGIC 106, HAWKS 102: A missed free throw or two (or 11), here and a botched lay-up there.
The Hawks had endured it all in a game they should have been blown out in but somehow found a way to make interesting late, only to succumb to their own mistakes and their Southeast Division rivals from Orlando anyway.
The Hawks made just 14 of their 25 free throws and wasted 23 points off of 18 Magic turnovers in dropping their third home game of the season and watching their six-game home win streak go up in smoke.
The Magic squandered a 21-point lead, allowing the Hawks to dream of ways to prolong their home win-streak in a 106-102 loss at Philips Arena.
"You make six of those," center Al Horford, "it's a different game."
The same two teams go at it again Friday in Orlando. Reinforce the rims.
"You can't spot them 21 points and think you're going to come back and win," coach Mike Woodson said. "We made some plays in the fourth quarter, but you can't wait three quarters to decide if you want to play."
Josh Smith led Hawks with 21 points, despite a 0-for-4 performance from the line that drew him some boos in the third quarter. Mike Bibby, on a 6-for-17 night, still scored 17 points but missed the easiest one he took, an uncontested fast-break lay-up with 58 seconds left that might have made it a two-point game.
"We came back," Bibby said. "I had a good chance to throw in my lay-up. I missed it. It happens."