--The Hawks usually rely on their veteran backcourt for points. Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby delivered their usual, combining for 41 points in the Hawks' 114-109 win over New York Sunday at Philips Arena. They did so much more than that, though, sparking a ball sharing party that resulted in the Hawks piling up 32 assists on the night. Johnson (13) and Bibby (nine) led the way as the Hawks won their third straight game by recording those 32 assists on their 44 made field goals. "I thought we shared the ball early and that really set the tone for the way we played," Johnson said. "It wasn't our prettiest game by any stretch. But we had to grind our way through it. And sharing the ball is usually the best way to get through these tough games like this." Johnson and Bibby's decision making early always sets the tone, Hawks sixth man Josh Childress said. "When they're a threat, be it passing or scoring, it determines the way the other teams play us," Childress said. "They got the ball moving early and that was how we played the whole night."--Hawks rookie center Al Horford faced a former Florida teammate for the second straight game in Knicks center David Lee; he faced Chicago's Joakim Noah in Friday's win over the Bulls. Lee played well, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Horford topped him, though, with 18 points and 13 rebounds. And Horford got the win. Guess who'll have bragging rights this summer in Gainesville? "We were battling out there," Lee said. "He's a very good rebounder and he gets his points when teams are rotating on defense. We were doubling (Johnson) and al got some space to get the basket. At some points we were having two and three guys trying to box him out, but he's a tough guy to box out... he had a great game. And having played with him at Florida, I know that he's capable of having games like this."
--The Hawks had no energy when it came to guarding Knicks guard Jamal Crawford, who was 14-for-25 from the floor and a wicked 7-for-10 from beyond the three-point line. "We try to help a little bit more," Bibby said. "There was a lot of leaving people out there on an island. He's a tough cover, so we had to help each other and try to make him make passes, and make other guys make plays."
Crawford had his way with the Hawks Sunday. But he left the building convinced that the Hawks are headed for the postseason for the first time in eight years. "You can definitely tell this team is playing for a playoff spot," Crawford said. "You can feel the energy in the building from their fans."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Their record doesn't show the type of team they are. They have a lot of guys that can score the ball and a lot of guys that play extremely hard. It's never going to be any easy win when you play the Knicks or anybody else for that matter." -- Marvin Williams, trying to justify the Hawks' five-point win over a 20-win Knicks team.