This could become a familiar formula for the Hawks this season, this multi-faceted offensive attack that keeps other teams guessing where the daggers are coming from next. One minute it's captain and All-Star Joe Johnson, the next it's sixth-man Jamal Crawford or Mike Bibby or Josh Smith and on and on.
Crawford best embodies this new spirit and fearlessness. He rang up his second straight monster game off the bench with 26 points and served as the Hawks' trigger man on offense for much of the night in a win in Sacramento. He had 27 points in Tuesday night's win in Portland.
Johnson turned in another one of his typical efforts, working the Kings for 26 points of his own on 11-for-22 shooting from the floor. All five Hawks starters scored in double-figures. Crawford nearly doubled the Kings' bench scoring on his own.
"Our bench has just been big from the start," Johnson said. "They are sparking us every night and that's huge. Jamal's been so good. He's a 20-point scorer in this league and he's a proven guy. So when he comes out there, he really makes it difficult for teams to key on just me. When you can't go at just one guy defensively, that's what opens up the floor for everyone else."
It's the kind of group effort on offense that the Hawks have longed for in recent years when they've dealt with other teams that could come at them in waves. Now, they know what it feels like to do the same.
"We're a different beast this year," Smith said. "If you just look up and down the lineup, we've got a devastating roster to throw at people. And if you're not careful, Jamal or Joe will give you 30 on any night."
HAWKS 113, KINGS 105: Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson made for a devastating scoring duo for the Hawks Wednesday night at Arco Arena. They popped the Sacramento Kings for 26 points each as the Hawks won their second straight road game in impressive fashion, this one a 113-105 come-from-behind win on the second half of a back-to-back set.
"This is about the growth process," Crawford said. "We had that big win in Portland (Tuesday) night but it would have been for nothing if we didn't win this one. There comes a turning point in every game where you can go one way or another. We just dug in and made sure we took this game."
Still, the Hawks weren't able to pull away until late due to a disastrous turnover night. They gave the Kings 25 points on their 17 turnovers, making a game that realistically should have been a rout much closer than it needed to be.
They did outscore the Kings 30-18 in the fourth quarter, though, asserting themselves on the defensive end finally after allowing the Kings to race up and down the floor with them for three quarters.
"Take nothing away from the Kings, they have guys that can score the ball so I knew it wasn't going to be an easy game," coach Mike Woodson said. "We knew that fourth quarter was going to be huge. Again, I've got to get us, the most important thing is we came in here and got our win."
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