SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- This could become a familiar formula for the Hawks this season, this multifaceted offensive attack that keeps other teams guessing where the daggers are coming from next. One minute it's Joe Johnson, the next it's sixth-man Jamal Crawford or Mike Bibby or Josh Smith and on and on.
Were they to sprinkle a little defense in there somewhere, Hawks coach Mike Woodson would have to get as excited as he did Wednesday night at Arco Arena, when the Hawks toyed with the Sacramento Kings before putting them away late for a 113-105 win.
It was the second straight impressive road win for the Hawks (4-1), a team that struggled with games like these a year ago. Improved mental toughness combined with the ability to score from all over the floor makes working away from home a different deal this season for the Hawks .
Crawford best embodies this new spirit and fearlessness. He rang up his second straight monster game off the bench with 26 points and served as the Hawks' trigger man on offense for much of the night. He had 27 points in Tuesday night's win in Portland.
"This is about the growth process," Crawford said. "We had that big win in Portland last night but it wouldn't have been for nothing if we didn't win this one. There comes a turning point in every game where you can go one way or another. We just dug in and made sure we took this game."
Johnson turned in another one of his typical efforts, working the Kings for 26 points of his own on 11-for-22 shooting from the floor. All five Hawks starters scored in double figures. Crawford nearly doubled the Kings' bench scoring on his own.
"Our bench has just been big from the start," Johnson said. "They are sparking us every night and that's huge. Jamal's been so good. He's a 20-point scorer in this league and he's a proven guy. So when he comes out there he really makes it difficult for teams to key on just one me. When you can't go at just one guy defensively, that's what opens up the floor for everyone else."
Smith had another strong outing, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Marvin Williams added 13 points and six rebounds and Al Horford 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Bibby lit up his old team for 13 points and seven blocks, making good on his promise from a night earlier that he'd leave his old stomping grounds with a win.
Still, the Hawks weren't able to pull away until late due to a disastrous turnover night. They gave the Kings 25 points on their 17 turnovers, making a game that realistically should have been a rout much closer than it needed to be.
They did outscore the Kings 30-18 in the fourth quarter, though, asserting themselves on the defensive end finally after allowing the Kings to race up and down the floor with them for three quarters.
"Take nothing away from the Kings, they have guys that can score the ball so I knew it wasn't going to be an easy game," Woodson said. "We knew that fourth quarter was going to be huge. Again, I've got to get us, the most important thing is we came in here and got our win."
The Hawks are now 2-1 on this road, playing above the .500 mark Woodson said his team needed to this season to reach their goals of a 50-win season and a top four seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Hawks only won 16 games away from Philips Arena all last season. They play at Charlotte tonight, another very winnable game in theory for a team that's suddenly a bit saltier away from home.
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