--G Joe Johnson played every minute of the first half against Chicago's smothering and physical defense. And he did this two nights after playing all 48 minutes against that same kind of pressure defense in a loss to the Bulls in Chicago. He played 32 straight minutes Friday night before getting a breather with 5:36 to play in the third quarter. Johnson struggled shooting the ball up to that point -- he was 5-for-16 when he left the floor -- but more than made up for it with seven assists to help the Hawks build their lead to as many as 22 points. His rest didn't last long, though. Johnson was back in the game with 2:56 to play in the third quarter. He didn't come off the floor again.--While the Hawks once again ignored their bench, the Bulls used theirs to get back into the game. Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni were particularly effective, outworking the tired Hawks' starters (and the two reserves that actually played significant minutes) all over the floor in the third and fourth quarter. Gordon scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.
--Normally a solid free throw shooting team, the Hawks misfired often Friday (32-for-44, 72.7 percent) and it almost cost them.
"The guys that normally make them didn't make them tonight," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "I'll put my money on Josh Childress at the line and Joe (Johnson) at the line all night long. Luckily, we made the plays at the end to win the game."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We laid off a little bit and got too relaxed. And hey, that's not the first time it's happened and it won't be the last either. We withstood it, though. And that's all that matters." -- G Mike Bibby, on the Hawks' ability to withstand the pressure against the Bulls.