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News » Hawks 111, Wizards 90


Hawks 111, Wizards 90


Hawks 111, Wizards 90
ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks had something to prove after an embarrassing home loss.

They had no trouble making their point against hapless Washington.

Joe Johnson scored 22 points and the Hawks led from start to finish, erasing the memory off a dismal blowout by the Los Angeles Clippers with a 111-90 rout of the undermanned Wizards on Tuesday night.

Atlanta raced to a 9-1 lead before most of the sparse crowd had even settled into its seats. The Hawks pushed the margin as high as 22 points in the second quarter against an injury-plagued team that has managed the modest feat of back-to-back wins only once this season.

"That was a total team effort," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson, in a much better mood than three nights earlier. "The starters did what they're supposed to do and the guys off the bench were very good."

The Wizards missed their first seven shots and never seriously challenged the Hawks, who clearly had something to prove after a 121-97 loss to Clippers over the weekend.

"That was definitely on our minds," forward Josh Smith said. "We wanted to bounce back tonight, and we did."

After Woodson called out of his team for not showing up against the Clippers, Atlanta played with much more passion. Of course, it also helped to have point guard Mike Bibby back in the lineup.

Bibby, who didn't play against L.A. because of a sprained foot, scored 12 points and doled out six assists in 26 minutes.

"He makes the defense play us honest," Johnson said. "He can knock down the open shots. That makes a big difference."

The Wizards sure noticed Bibby's impact.

"His savvy at that position always helps," Washington coach Ed Tapscott said. "We have youth and inexperience on our side."

The Wizards were coming off a rare victory, Sunday's 119-117 triumph over the Indiana Pacers, but they didn't come close to making it two in a row.

"We played - well, I don't want to call it basketball," Washington's Antawn Jamison said. "We didn't play smart. Not talking, not communicating on the defensive end, not playing basketball the way it needs to be played."

The Hawks led 77-61 after three quarters and Woodson was able to rest his starters down the stretch.

Smith and Al Horford sat on the bench before the start of the final period, chuckling as they glanced up at a Valentine's Day skit on the video board.

Atlanta will go into the All-Star break with 30 wins for the first time since the 1996-97 season, when it was 31-15. The Hawks (30-21) have one more game, at Detroit on Wednesday night, before the league's best players head to Phoenix this weekend.

Caron Butler scored 22 points, but the last-place Wizards were outmanned, as they are on most nights without Gilbert Arenas, Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas.

Washington turned it over 18 times, leading to 20 Atlanta points. The Hawks didn't shoot especially well, mixing in several airballs among their 46 percent performance from the field, but they turned it over only seven times and outrebounded the Wizards 49-42.

The Wizards spent most of the game settling for jump shots, which didn't exactly work out. They made just under 45 percent from the field - not nearly good enough considering they put up 24 fewer shots than the Hawks.

"If you miss shots and they're all jump shots, eventually you should drive the ball," Jamison said. "We just don't know how to be patient."

Zaza Pachulia grabbed 12 rebounds for the Hawks, including three on one especially persistent sequence under the boards. He missed his first three attempts before finally tapping it in while the Wizards stood around helplessly.

Eleven players scored for the Hawks. The only active player to miss out on the fun was Mario West, who got an attempt under the basket with the clock winding down but watched it rim out.

He slapped his hands, hoping to get one more shot, but Acie Law dribbled out the remaining seconds near midcourt. West slapped his hands and smiled.

Notes: Washington rookie JaVale McGee set a career high with 11 rebounds to go along with 18 points. ... Jamison also had a double-double for the Wizards with 17 points and 12 rebounds. ... Johnson turned in the most minutes for the Hawks with 33. Atlanta finished with little-used Randolph Morris, Solomon Jones, Law and West on the court. ... Horford, who said he was bothered by a migraine, played only 15 minutes and sat out most of the second half.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 11, 2009

 

 
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