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News » Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2009-04-25

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2009-04-25

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2009-04-25
--The Hawks were brutal for most of the night Wednesday. They had six players in double figures for the second straight game, led by Mike Bibby's 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting and Josh Smith's 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

But captain and All-Star Joe Johnson struggled mightily. Plagued by foul trouble early, he made just 5 of his 13 shots and finished with four turnovers and without a single assist.

"It starts with me," Johnson said. "I definitely have to pick my play up. But I just thought we came out too complacent. We were nothing like the first game. We won that first game and felt like we won the series already. We didn't have that fire in our belly. And they jumped on us and we never recovered."

--It's a good thing Josh Smith has games to play in every couple of days. Otherwise, the Hawks' power forward figures he'd spend all his time watching the playoffs on TV, like he did his first three years in the NBA when the Hawks missed out on an invite to the postseason.

"I'm loving every minute of this time of year," Smith said with a smile before the Hawks' Game 2 game against the Heat Wednesday night at Philips Arena. "I've been up later than I should be every night watching these games, Eastern and Western Conference, man. I love it all."

--Spirit the Hawk, the Hawks' mascot that flies down over the court before the start of every home game, has likely flown its last flight.

The bird took over the floor at Philips Arena at the start of Wednesday's game, refusing to fly to the arm of its handler and gliding around the arena for nearly five minutes.

Spirit made a couple of trips back and forth to that final perch before the game officials stopped play with 8:48 to play in the first quarter to allow its handler to retrieve the bird.

The crowd stood and roared its approval as the bird was finally escorted from the floor.

--The Hawks, save for Smith, didn't start much better than their mascot. Their only lead of the first quarter came at 3-2.

After that, the Heat controlled the action for most of the first quarter, leading by as many as seven points and 24-18 at the end of the quarter.

Smith picked up where he left off in Game 1. He made 4 of 5 shots in his first 11 minutes and also grabbed four rebounds.

--Heat reserve shooter Daequan Cook, the reigning NBA 3-point shooting champion, made up for his 0-for-5 shooting effort in Game 1 in his first 11 minutes Wednesday night.

He drained three of his four 3-point shots in the second quarter to help push the Heat's lead to as many as nine points before halftime. He finished the game with 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The key was controlling the tempo, moving the ball and keeping them from getting a lot of transition points." -- Heat center Jermaine O'Neal on the keys to defeating the Hawks in Game 2.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 25, 2009


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