--Instead of pounding the undermanned Knicks inside, the Hawks tried to shoot their way out a three-point shooting slump and ended up giving the Knicks life in the process.A 10-point lead, 84-74, early in the fourth quarter was down to one twice in the final, maddening three minutes for the Hawks, who missed three deep three-pointers in the final two minutes of the game -- and if made, any one of the three would have provided the necessary breathing room.
"A team that plays up and down like that you almost always get lulled into playing like them because it's like playing pick-up ball and it's fun," said Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson, one of seven Hawks to score in double-figures (17, seven assists and five rebounds) on the night. "But you have to slow it up and watch your shot selection because there were a lot of times that we'd just come down and jack up a quick shot to match the quick shot they just took.
"Again, it's a fun style to play. And it's good to run with them. But tonight, this should have been at least a 20-point victory for us. We went up 10 a couple times and I thought we just got too relaxed. That quick shot for quick shot style, that's just not us."
--With Al Horford on the Hawks' roster and David Lee on the Knicks' roster, there was a perfectly logical explanation for all the orange and blue in the crowd to see the former Florida Gators do battle. Another former Gator, Anthony Roberson, is also on the Knicks' roster.
With all the Gators fans in town for Saturday night's Southeastern Conference championship game at the Georgia Dome, Horford was expecting a large presence for Friday's game.
"That's what we call a perfect storm," he said with a smile. "The Gator family doesn't need an invitation. They just know when to show up."
--Second-year Hawks point guard Acie Law IV missed Friday's game with flu-like symptoms but was scheduled to meet the team for their charter flight to Dallas after the game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm happy we won because this is a getaway game for us. We go out on the road for four games and it could have been disastrous the way we played. But again, we gutted it out and made the plays we had to make coming down the stretch and were able to secure the win. But we just can't keep putting ourselves in this position. When you've got comfortable leads and the free throws are in your favor in terms of the penalty, you have to take advantage of it." -- Josh Smith.