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News » NBA 2009-01-08

NBA 2009-01-08

NBA 2009-01-08
* NOTHING BUT RIM: OK, they might not be the NBA's best free-throw shooters. The Hawks entered Wednesday night ranked 24th in the league with a 74.8 percent rate at the line. But that hardly explains the club's 14-for-25 performance against Orlando, a collapse that, as much as anything else, caused the 106-102 loss. "We got some good free-throw shooters on this team, I think," said Al Horford. "A lot of times, guys maybe don't focus in. Maybe they miss one and then miss the second one, it gets in their heads a little bit." Horford made his only free throw of the night and Mike Bibby made all four of his. But Josh Smith drew the ire of Hawks fans by missing all four he took. Joe Johnson went 2-for-4, as did Flip Murray. On the other side, Orlando went 26-for-36 (72.2 percent). That's a 12-point disparity. "That's something we have to be able to clean up," Horford said.

* IN A HOLE: When the Magic first hiked its lead to 73-53 midway in the third quarter, it marked the fourth time this season the Hawks had fallen behind by 20 points. They've suffered worse, but not by much. The biggest deficit was 28, against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 11.

* NO ZAZA: Center Zaza Pachulia was a pregame scratch because of an illness, and it was a bad night to get sick. With three starters at 6-foot-10 or better (and two more on the bench), Orlando can cause matchup problems all over the league, and the 6-11 center could have made a difference. In sporadic playing time, Pachulia is still the Hawks' third-leading rebounder. Suffering from flu-like symptoms, Pachulia stayed home Wednesday night. Also unavailable was point guard Acie Law IV, who left the team to tend to an ailing family member.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 8, 2009


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