Ivan Johnson powers Atlanta to a dominating win over Toronto on Monday as six Hawks score double-figures in the 109-87 blowout victory to avenge Sunday’s dismantling loss to the Raptors.
With the win, Atlanta has clinched it’s fifth consecutive post-season berth and second straight under head coach Larry Drew.
The Hawks were embarrassed 102-86 last night at home in the Philips Arena by Toronto but bounced back in the finale of the home-and-home set in Canada the way a team still fighting for home-field advantage in the playoffs should by blowing out the Raptors by 22 points.
Jeff Teague played a great game posting a double-double of 19 points and 10 assists while adding six rebounds, two steals and two blocked shot in the process.
Ivan Johnson led the team in scoring with 21 points and pulled down eight boards in 27 minutes of action on a phenomenal 9-of-13 shooting performance.
Last game he was the only one who played with intensity for the Hawks and he carried that same attitude over to today as he continuously got into the lane and outmuscled defenders for points in the paint.
Teammates Joe Johnson (18), Marvin Williams (16), Josh Smith (15) and Tracy McGrady (11) were also in double-figures.
Smith was a rebound shy of recording a double-double and leading Hawk scorer I. Johnson was two rebounds shy of achieving the same feat.
With the victory the Hawks remain tied with Orlando, which beat Philadelphia earlier Monday, for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta owns the tiebreaker having defeated the Magic all three times this year in the season series, six straight wins dating back to last season.
Raptor forward DeMar DeRozan had another great game for Toronto with 22 points on 57 percent (8-of-14) shooting overall as teammates James Johnson (18 / 4) and Alan Anderson (12 / 4) combined for 30 points and eight rebounds in the contest.
The game was tight between Atlanta and Toronto for mostly three quarters, the lead never more than seven points out of reach for either team.
The Hawks led 67-64 with under two minutes to play in the period then went on a 13-4 run to close out the third quarter and never looked back. Atlanta outscored the Raptors 30-19 in the final 12 minutes to secure the win.
PLAYER GRADES: Each player is given a grade on an A+ through F scale based upon their game performance.
Jeff Teague: A
Teague played a great all-around game in his near triple-double performance of 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. He set the tempo offensively, pushed the ball up court in transition for easy lay-ups and was even a factor on the defensive end, blocking a couple of shots and adding a few steals to his stat line while only having one turnover in 36 minutes of action. Work of a true point guard.
Kirk Hinrich: D
Hinrich committed two fouls in the first quarter and was pretty a much a non-factor in the rest of game after that — in 27 total minutes he scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and had one assist.
Joe Johnson: B-
Josh Smith: B+
Jason Collins: C+
Ivan Johnson: A
Ivan was incredible. He stepped up for us once again, this time pouring in a career-high 21 points en route to securing Atlanta’s fifth straight playoff berth. Johnson narrowly missed posting a double-double in the contest, coming two rebounds shy of the mark. He displayed his dominance in the paint all game, made 3-of-4 free-throws and even showed off some shooting touch by knocking down a couple of baskets, 16-ft and further, from the wing.
Marvin Williams: B
Tracy McGrady: B-
T-Mac had a pretty nice game for a former-superstar whose on his last legs with a modest 11 point, four rebound, four assist performance in 21 minutes of play. He showed he could still play well … at times and could also be effective in limited time coming off the bench.
SDS Plays of the Game:
The turning point in the game came late in the third quarter with Atlanta leading 67-64 — Ivan Johnson scored five straight points for the Hawks and sparked a 12-4 run to close out the period.
The Hawks opened the fourth quarter 79-68 and extended their lead in the final 12 minutes as they cruised to a 109-87 victory.
SDS Player of the Game:
Ivan Johnson was exceptional coming off the bench scoring a team-high 21 points in the blowout victory over the Raptors on Monday night. Johnson played 27 minutes of action and corralled eight rebounds in the contest.
I love the toughness this guy plays with and his intensity game in and game out. He outmuscled defenders and showed a pretty nice variety of moves in the paint and finished strong for scores while also showing some unexpected shooting ability as he knocked down shots from 16 and 20-ft.
With Horford and Pachulia still hurt we need Ivan’s production like never before.
Very impressive how the Hawks showed the ability to bounce back on Monday after being demolished by Toronto a day earlier.
Ivan Johnson, the only player to show up with intensity last night for Atlanta, played phenomenal, just phenomenal in the rematch. He stepped up when the Hawks needed a big man most. 21 pts in 27 mins on 9-of-13 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds – with those numbers you would of thought he was a 10-dayer from Dwane Casey’s crew.
All-star center Al Horford has been out practically the entire year, back-up big man Zaza Pachulia was inactive Monday with a foot injury, and could be out for the next, and without third string veteran Erick Dampier who didn’t play because of a coaches decision (he wasn’t needed).
Point guard Jeff Teague was great on the defensive end, grabbing six rebounds and making steals and taking them for easy fast break points. On offense he penetrated the lane and either took it for lay-ups or made the the defenders collapse in the paint and then would kick it out to the open man.
Great balance overall for the Hawks. Five players in double-figures within the range of five points of one anther while 14-year veteran was the sixth Hawk in double-digits with 11 points.
Next up for the Hawks are the Detroit Pistons at home in Atlanta. The Pistons are the Eastern Conference’s 10th place team with an overall record of 22-38 with no shot of reaching the post-season which means they will be playing the role of spoiler looking to stop the Hawks from a chance of earning the #4 seed in the playoffs.
Detroit will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night at 7:30 PM (ET). After the conclusion of that game, the Pistons will fly to Atlanta where tip-off is schedule for 7:30 PM (ET) Wednesday evening.
The series this season between Detroit and Atlanta has been very close with the Hawks having a slight 2-1 advantage.
The first game, in Detroit on Jan. 27, Atlanta pulled out a 107-101 OT victory led by Josh Smith’s 19-point, 11-rebound double-double and Joe Johnson’s 30-point performance.
In the second contest Detroit had five players put up double-figures led by forward Jason Maxiell’s 19 points and 12 boards as teammate and Georgetown alum Greg Monroe chipped in with a team-high 20 points on 10-of-14 made shooting.
The third meeting was in Atlanta with the Hawks winning 96-91 powered by five players scoring double-digit points and a pair of double-double’s from Josh Smith (22 pts & 12 rebs) and Jeff Teague (24 pts & 11 assists).
Wednesday in Atlanta will be the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season.
Topics: Alan Anderson, Atlanta Hawks, DeMar DeRozan, Ivan Johnson, James Johnson, Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Tracy McGrady, Zaza Pachulia