Mike Bibby got suspicious when he saw Joe Johnson practicing trick shots after practice Tuesday."I didn't know what he was doing at first," Bibby said. "He was trying his hardest to be a Harlem Globetrotter."
Johnson is one of three players who will compete in a H-O-R-S-E competition in Phoenix on Saturday as a part of the NBA's All-Star festivities.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant and Memphis rookie guard O.J. Mayo will join Johnson in the inaugural event. The competition will be televised live Saturday.
Bibby will have a little work of his own to tend to later that night. He's one of the participants in the three-point shooting contest.
"Joe's just trying to get his hands on a trophy before I do," Bibby said, smiling. "I know exactly what this is all about."
Johnson wouldn't say exactly what he has in mind for the competition. But he insisted that the affair will be must-see television.
"It's should be wild and crazy all weekend," said Johnson, who will also play in his third straight All-Star Game on Sunday. "We've got to take care of these last two games, and then it's time to cut loose a little bit and have some fun."
It's business first, though.
A win in Detroit would match the Hawks' best win total before the break since 1997, when they were 31-15. The Hawks resume action after the break with a five-game, 10-day Western Conference trip that begins in Los Angeles Feb. 17 and ends in Denver Feb. 25.
"We have to go hard and finish right," forward Josh Smith said. "Because anything can happen on that road trip after the break."
HAWKS 111, WIZARDS 90: The Hawks had their steady hand back at the controls. And the results were similar to what they've been all season at home with veteran point guard Mike Bibby running the show.
Bibby directed traffic masterfully as the Hawks ravaged Washington. He had 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Hawks raced to an early 22-point lead and cruised to their 30th win of the season.
It was the type of performance that was missing Saturday in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Bibby sat out that game with a sprained left foot and the Hawks lost by 24 points.
He was in control early Tuesday, feeding Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson early and often. The Hawks led 9-1 early and never slowed down.
Johnson finished his night early with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. It was a return to the 1-2 formula that has been so good to the Hawks this season.
With Bibby and Johnson rolling early, the rest of the Hawks got in on the action, too.
The bench was outstanding. Flip Murray added 16 points, Mo Evans 14, Acie Law IV 11 and seven assists, and Zaza Pachulia 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Hawks capped the pre-All-Star-break portion of their home schedule with an impressive 19-6 mark.