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News » Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2009-05-12

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2009-05-12

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2009-05-12
--Every time the Hawks made a spirited run, like they did late in the game behind some huge shots from Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Flip Murray and Mike Bibby, James rallied his troops.

Delonte West and Mo Williams took turns knocking down clutch shots for the Cavaliers late, each one of them holding off a Hawks rally when it seemed like the Hawks might be ready to make a push to get all the way back in the game.

With the Hawks chasing in the game's final 90 seconds and down just 79-74, the Cavaliers sealed the game by snagging three offensive rebounds to keep their possession alive. Williams polished it off by draining a deep three-pointer with 52.1 seconds to play to put the Cavaliers up 82-74.

West finished with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting, and six assists and four rebounds. Williams finished with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds.

"They've got weapons all over the floor," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "As good as he is, and LeBron is one of the best I've seen in 27 years in this league, he doesn't do it alone. And we tried to double him some tonight and West and Williams and those other guys made us pay for it every time."

--The Cavaliers' largest lead all game was just 10 points. The Hawks stayed close despite being smashed on the boards (48-33) for the fourth straight game and shooting just .315 (23-for-73) from the floor.

Smith led the Hawks with 26 points and eight rebounds. Johnson added 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Murray added 14 points as the only other Hawks player to reach double-figures. But the final-game effort changed the tone in the Hawks' locker room from defeated before the game to a bit more feisty afterwards.

"We'll go into the summer aiming to get back here next year and give a much better showing," Smith said. "We're not done yet by any stretch."

--The Hawks' 22-15 first quarter edge marked the first time the entire series they led at the end of a quarter and their seven-point lead matched their largest in the series up that point.

The Hawks followed that up by missing their first eight shots of the second quarter, allowing the Cavaliers to regain the lead with a 10-2 run.

But they battled throughout the first half, keeping things tight through halftime, just as Josh Smith said they would before the game.

"We're not going to go quietly in this series," he said. "I know people expect us to. I know the (analysts) said we would. That's just not who we are, though. We're not that kind of team to just roll over and die for somebody."

--The Hawks' increased output on the offensive end was evident in their early work at the free throw line.

They made twice as many free throws by halftime (14) than they did in all of Game 3, when they finished 7-for-11 from the line.

That free-throw work helped offset a brutal shooting effort from the floor in the first half. The Hawks shot .316 (12-for-38) in the first half, including a dismal 4-for-18 showing in the second quarter. And they were still down just two points, 40-38, at halftime.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "If I know my guys, this will leave a sour taste in our mouths all summer. We just have to keep working to get better over the summer and come back next year with a vengeance." -- Hawks captain Joe Johnson, on what's to come for his team.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 12, 2009


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