The Hawks' 50-win goal this season isn't completely out of the realm of possibility.Not yet.
There's still time.
And the way they're playing -- they've won four straight home games heading into Sunday's matinee with Portland -- anything is possible.
"Don't take anything off the table just yet," Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson said. "We're not done yet. We're still hungry enough to keep this fighting to reach whatever is out there for us."
They've already made major strides this season.
Friday's win puts the Hawks in unique territory. They join Dallas as the only teams this decade to surpass their previous season's win total for the fourth straight year.
The Hawks have gone from 13 wins in Mike Woodson's first season to 26, 30, 37 and now 38 and counting. The Mavericks won 19, 40, 53, 57 and 60 from the 1999-00 season through the 2002-03 season.
With three games left on their homestand and 16 games left in the regular season, the Hawks have a chance to push their win total well over those 37 wins from last season.
"That means a lot, that means our team is improving year by year," Woodson said. "And we'll continue to grow and get better. You know, the media has been so tough on this team and me over the years. But I'm a realist, and I've always said it's hard for a young team to win in this league at a high level.
"When we started out it was like taking baby steps. It wasn't easy. But every year we've gotten better and we'll continue to grow."
HAWKS 101, PACERS 87: As long as Joe Johnson keeps playing like this, the Hawks should have no problem taking care of their home court.
The Hawks' captain and All-Star turned in his third straight 30-point game and the Hawks rallied from a 13-point deficit to turn back the Indiana Pacers 101-87 for their fourth straight home win and fourth straight overall.
Johnson led the Hawks with 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting and also added six assist and four rebounds. He scored 30 in a win over New Orleans Monday and 31 in a win over Utah Wednesday, each win snapping long win streaks for the Hornets and Jazz, respectively.
"I'm just trying to come out and be aggressive from the start and get in a rhythm early and then get my teammates involved," Johnson said. "My shot's been feeling pretty good, though, and that makes a world of difference."
Johnson didn't have to do it all by himself Friday as all five Hawks starters scored in double-figures. Al Horford was a monster on both ends, finishing with 17 points and 15 rebounds, his second straight double-double. Mo Evans added 15 points, 10 during the Hawks' crucial third-quarter rally. The Hawks are 11-1 with Evans in the starting lineup. And he started the Hawks' last three games with Marvin Williams out indefinitely with a lower back injury.
Mike Bibby finished with 13 points, six assists and six rebounds and Josh Smith 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.