--Talk about a rough night. Josh Smith and Marvin Williams, the Hawks' starting forwards, combined to miss their first 13 shots against Philadelphia. If not for Joe Johnson (16 points) and Mike Bibby (12), the Hawks would have been in a much deeper hole than 57-44 at halftime."It was so ugly early on, they had to carry us," said Smith, who rebounded from an 0-for-7 start to finish 6-for-16 from the floor and with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. "I wanted to help them out in any way I could. I had to pick my game up in the second half, and it started with defense. From there, we started hitting shots and the crowd gave us a huge lift."
--The Hawks defense after the break was stellar -- Atlanta held the Sixers to just 31 points overall and 13 in the fourth quarter. Hawks coach Mike Woodson, already riding high after his daughter's Woodward Academy volleyball team won the state title, couldn't have been happier with the defensive effort or the crowd, both of which he credited for his team's resurgence after halftime.
"Playoff atmosphere," he said. "The fans were fantastic again tonight. And our guys reacted off of it. We got down early. I thought we were playing too fast early, and they made shots. You have to give them credit. But the third and fourth quarters were our quarters. We really turned up the defense. You hold that team to 31 points in the second half, that's huge."
--The Hawks' shooting in the second half wasn't shabby. Smith shot 5-for-7 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including two huge 3-pointers.
Johnson was his usual clutch self. He tied the game at 84-84 with a runner with 4:22 to play. He gave the Hawks their first lead, 88-86, with a dunk off a length-of-the-floor pass from Smith with 1:53 to play. And he finished the Sixers off with a deep 3-pointer.
Woodson said he might have wanted a better shot before Johnson launched it, but there's no need to complain now.
"I'll take it," he said. "It wasn't how we drew it up. But Joe had a big monster game. He's our All-Star. He played like it and he made play after play."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was definitely a thought, that I might be up there for real and playing with Louis (Williams), Thaddeus (Young), Iggy (Andre Iguodala) and all those guys that I know. It sounded like it could be a devastating concept. The way (Sixers) coach (Mo) Cheeks was describing it to me and how he wanted to play, man, it would have been unbelievable. He was talking about running and gunning but with defense as the backbone of what we'd be doing. What player doesn't want to be a part of that?" -- Hawks F Josh Smith, elaborating on how he felt about being pursued by the Sixers over the summer.