--Mike Bibby's words from the day before were on target in the early going Saturday night."We're going to find out just how much we want it," Bibby said before the Hawks departed for South Florida for Saturday's Game 3 against the Miami Heat.
When the Hawks went down by as many as 14 points in the opening minutes, staggered by the rush from the Heat backcourt of Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers, it didn't look as if the Hawks wanted anything other than to get out of town quickly.
But they battled back from the lowest-scoring first quarter (12 points) in the Hawks' playoff history by showing nerves on the road that no one figured they had after piling up just 16 road wins during the regular season.
They were within a point, 22-21, midway through the third quarter. They did it mostly by playing off the backs of Zaza Pachulia and Flip Murray, who came off the bench with energy and effort that was missing in Games 1 and 2 in Atlanta.
They combined for 11 points and seven rebounds by halftime. Their production offset a dismal start by the Hawks' starters not named Bibby -- Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford combined four rebounds, two points and just one assist in the game's first 12 minutes.
But the rally didn't last long enough. Not with Wade on the floor.
He scored the Heat's final six points of the half -- on a nasty dunk over Al Horford (he was fouled and drained the free throw), followed by a shot clock beating 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left.
The Heat's lead ballooned back to 50-29 at the half, 50-29 Wade's 19 first-half points.
--Josh Smith, the Hawks' leading scorer and rebounder after two games, had a first half to forget Saturday night.
In addition to missing all six of the shots he took from the floor and not grabbing a single rebound, Smith picked up two fouls before leaving the floor for the remainder of the half with four minutes to play.
After playing the role of hero in the Hawks' Game 1 win and averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds in Atlanta, he simply didn't appear to be dialed in for the first half of Game 3.
--Subbing Mo Evans for an injured Marvin Williams Saturday night didn't pay any major dividends for the Hawks. Evans went scoreless in the first half as well, playing 16 minutes without scratching in any column other than rebounds and fouls. And he had just one of each.
Williams sat out the game with a sprained wrist, an injury suffered late in the third quarter of Game 2.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's win or go home time right now. Everybody knows that you don't come back from these big holes in the playoffs. So we have to find a way. Somehow, some way, we've got to find a way." -- Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson on his team's predicament.