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News » Defense plays inspired


Defense plays inspired


Defense plays inspired DALLAS --- Apparently, road games against the league's elite are more the Hawks' style.

Showing defensive grit and getting clutch play from guard Joe Johnson and backup forward Joe Smith, the Hawks took their first win out of Dallas since March 2004 with a 80-75 win over the Mavericks, ending a five-game losing streak in Dallas.

A night after one of their worst efforts of the season, the Hawks rallied against a Mavericks team that last season went 32-9 at the American Airlines Center. They continued their run of success against the league's upper echelon. Among the Hawks' 13 wins are defeats of Denver, Boston, Miami, Houston, a sweep of Portland and now Dallas.

Johnson poured in 31 points, while Smith added a key nine points, six of them in the fourth quarter. Forward Marvin Williams grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds.

In a team meeting on Saturday morning, coach Mike Woodson admonished his players for their shoddy defense against the Knicks Friday night, showing them tape of their various lapses and what the coach said was a lack of pride in guarding the Basketball.

"We're not doing the things we need to do to win games," Woodson said before the game.

The Hawks apparently listened. They deflected passes and challenged shots. They forced Dallas, third-best in the league at holding onto the ball, into 16 turnovers. While hardly perfect --- Mavericks gunner Dirk Nowitzki had plenty of open looks in scoring 32 points --- the Hawks showed the attention to defense that was lacking Friday.

In fact, the Hawks' defense of Dallas gave them enough margin to withstand going without a basket for the final 7:19 of the second quarter. The Hawks didn't score a basket in their final 14 possessions and only scored one point in that span, but still led 41-40 at the half because they forced 11 turnovers and held Dallas to 40 percent shooting from the floor.

Following the Knicks loss, and having lost four of their last six before Dallas, Saturday night was a test for the Hawks , guard Mo Evans said before the game.

"If we come out and play the type of Basketball that's led to us winning 13 games, whether we win or lose, that'll show the type of character we have and the resolve we have," he said. "If we come out here and don't compete and play the same way we did against New York, a lack of defensive effort and we just weren't on the same page as a unit, then I think that'll tell us we've got a lot more work than we thought."

The Hawks and Mavericks went after each other in the second half, trading leads and clutch plays. Forward Josh Smith, a day after getting ejected for arguing a non-call, gave the Hawks a boost in the third quarter, scoring nine points in the period to give the Hawks a 64-60 lead.

The Hawks didn't seal the game until Johnson's two free throws with less than two seconds left produced the final margin.

FG FT Reb

ATLANTA Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

MWilliams 36:11 1-7 0-0 1-15 1 1 3

JosSmith 26:38 4-11 4-10 4-6 2 5 12

Horford 37:39 5-10 1-2 2-6 1 5 11

Bibby 21:06 1-9 0-0 2-4 6 1 2

Johnson 43:50 13-24 4-4 1-7 3 2 31

Crawford 30:45 3-12 0-0 0-2 1 3 6

Pachulia 13:01 2-5 2-2 1-3 0 1 6

J Smith 18:33 3-8 3-4 5-7 0 3 9

Evans 8:06 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0

Teague 4:10 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 239:59 32-89 14-22 16-50 16 22 80

Percentages: FG .360, FT .636.

3-Point Goals: 2-13, .154 (M.Williams 1-1, Johnson 1-5, Crawford 0-1, Teague 0-1, Bibby 0-5).

Team Rebounds: 10. Team Turnovers: 9 (7 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 3 (Horford, Jos.Smith, M.Williams).

Turnovers: 8 (Jos.Smith 4, Johnson 3, Horford).

Steals: 9 (M.Williams 3, Crawford 2, Bibby, Johnson, Pachulia, Jos.Smith).

Flagrant Fouls: Jos.Smith, 5:56 third.

FG FT Reb

DALLAS Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Marion 31:43 3-6 2-4 2-5 2 4 8

Nowitzki 43:56 11-24 8-10 1-9 2 3 32

Dampier 31:00 0-1 0-0 1-12 0 4 0

Kidd 38:56 1-5 0-2 0-8 6 1 3

Terry 39:51 5-16 4-4 0-1 3 2 17

Thomas 21:38 2-7 0-0 2-7 2 1 5

Barea 17:24 2-4 0-0 0-2 3 1 5

Gooden 15:24 1-4 3-4 1-2 0 4 5

Beaubois 0:08 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 25-67 17-24 7-46 18 20 75

Percentages: FG .373, FT .708.

3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Terry 3-8, Nowitzki 2-6, Barea 1-2, Thomas 1-3, Kidd 1-5).

Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 16 (16 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 14 (Dampier 4, Nowitzki 4, Gooden 3, Marion 2, Kidd).

Turnovers: 16 (Thomas 4, Barea 2, Dampier 2, Kidd 2, Marion 2, Nowitzki 2, Gooden, Terry).

Steals: 3 (Dampier, Kidd, Nowitzki).

Technical Fouls: None.

Flagrant Fouls: Dampier, 7:23 third.

Atlanta 27 14 23 16 --- 80

Dallas 19 21 20 15 --- 75

A --- 19,550 (19,200). T --- 2:21.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 7, 2009

 

 
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