--It only took one night in town for the Hawks to catch Wildcats fever, which is running rampant around Philadelphia these days with Villanova days away from their first Final Four since 1985.Hawks center Al Horford, a two-time winner at the Final Four while at Florida, said he's going with the "underdog" Wildcats to win it all this weekend in Detroit.
Hawks guard Speedy Claxton has ties to the city and the team, having begun his pro career with the 76ers and having played for Wildcats coach Jay Wright in college at Hofstra.
"That's right," Claxton said. "I wish I could go to the game. And this is truly my second home. Every time I come back here the fans show me love, the people in the city, the workers in the arena. It's like a homecoming."
Claxton said he sees plenty of the same things he and Wright used to put Hofstra on the map in the Wildcats' guard-friendly attack.
"They play the same exact way we played at Hofstra," Claxton said. "Jay lets his guards go and relies on them to make plays for everybody else. He's going to produce some great guards in his system. There's no question about that. But I'm just happy for him and his program and the city. They deserve to enjoy this time."
--F Josh Smith's block numbers are way down this season compared with his totals from the past -- he collected 200 or more in each of the past three seasons.
But with his first block Tuesday he surpassed the 100-block mark for the fifth straight year.
Smith is one of only five players in the league to pile up at least 85 steals and 85 blocks this season. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Nene are the others.
--G Flip Murray has a ticket problem in his hometown of Philadelphia. He needed more than 50 tickets to accommodate all his family and friends that attended the game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We came out flat tonight, typical road performance for us as of late. We used up so much energy and effort to get back into the game that by the time we got back in it we needed everything to go right. And when it didn't, and once things went back south, we didn't have enough time to fight our way back in it." -- Hawks swingman Mo Evans, on his team's lackluster effort.