Coming off their worst shooting performance of the season, the Atlanta Hawks should have an easier time finding the bottom of the net on Friday against one of the league's worst defensive teams.The Hawks will look to regain their edge at Philips Arena as they continue their eight-game homestand against a Golden State Warriors club that's dropped four in a row and 13 of 15.
Atlanta (15-10) is coming off an 88-85 loss to Boston on Wednesday night that snapped a seven-game home winning streak. Joe Johnson scored a team-high 20 points for the Hawks, but missed 10 of 16 field goal attempts plus a critical free throw that would have made it 86-all with 2.7 seconds left.
It was Atlanta's first home loss since falling to New Jersey, 119-107 on Nov. 15.
"I had a chance to get us into overtime and missed the second free throw," said Johnson, who scored 10 of the Hawks' 23 fourth-quarter points. "I made the first one and some of the pressure was off."
Johnson has put plenty of pressure on the Warriors during the last three seasons. With Atlanta, Johnson is averaging 37.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists in three home games against Golden State.
He had 38 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 135-118 home loss to the Warriors on March 4.
Facing one of the league's top defensive teams in Boston, the Hawks made only 29 field goals, hitting 36.7 percent from the floor. It was their worst shooting effort since making 36.5 percent in an 87-80 loss to Milwaukee on Jan. 16.
Marvin Williams scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting versus the Celtics and was the only Atlanta starter that made 50 percent or better from the floor.
Taking on Golden State (7-19) could produce a different result, though, as the Warriors are 25th in the NBA in field goal defense at 46.8 percent and are giving up a league-high 112.1 points per game. In Wednesday's 127-120 loss to Indiana, Golden State allowed 120 points or more for the sixth time in 10 games.
"I wouldn't say we let it get away," said coach Don Nelson, whose team allowed a season-high 40 points in the first quarter against Indiana. "I would say they seized the opportunity at the moment. We were competing. We missed a couple shots, they made a couple, that was the ballgame."
The Warriors, losers of nine of their last 10 on the road, are allowing an average of 117.1 points in their last 15 contests.
They do rank second in the league in scoring, averaging 106.5 points, but Atlanta has held 12 straight opponents to 100 or fewer. The Hawks have allowed 83.0 points per game during their current 3-1 stretch.
Golden State's Jamal Crawford had a team-high 29 points with nine rebounds against the Pacers. He is averaging 23.3 points over the last three games after two straight four-point outings.
In his last game in Atlanta on March 30, Crawford made seven 3-pointers and scored 39 points for the New York Knicks.
Atlanta has won four of its last five games against the Warriors.