--Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said the Hawks team he's coaching against now bears little resemblance to the team he saw five years ago when he was coaching the Indiana Pacers."(Hawks coach Mike Woodson) has done a great job," Carlisle said before the Hawks-Mavericks game Thursday night at Philips Arena. "To have come into this at the very beginning of this, when these guys were a completely young group and to still be here 4-1/2 years later and have the team making an improvement on the record every year is a great accomplishment.
"They are a team that's come of age. They've matured. They've grown together. They've learned about sacrifice and learned what it means to win and how to win. Those things aren't easy. Mike certainly deserves a lot of credit for it. But the players have stuck together through difficult periods as well. And that's one of the reasons you do make progress the way they have."
Carlisle didn't even last the entire first half Thursday night. He was ejected 2:46 before halftime after back-to-back technical fouls.
--Coach Mike Woodson doesn't have a good explanation for the Hawks' 12-1 record with Mo Evans in the starting lineup.
While he does like having a 6-foot-5, 220-pound lucky charm to turn to when one of his starters can't play, Woodson is fond of some other numbers as well.
"We're 34-9 when we hold teams under 100 points," Woodson said. "I like that, too."
The Hawks needed the 10 points and four rebounds Evans provided in the first half against the Mavericks more than anything. He was the Hawks' energizer early.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You couldn't have asked for it to go any better. We came out and fought hard the entire time. And that was the main thing, coming out and protecting home court. And I thought our defense is what put us over the hump." -- Joe Johnson, on the Hawks' home stand.