The Atlanta Hawks only dressed 10 players because of injury but were able to pull out a solid 104-92 victory.
Ivan Johnson made the most of his first career start with a game to remember. Without Al Horford or Zaza Pachulia, Ivan picked up the rebounding slack with a game-high 15 rebounds, including 6 offensive.
The Hawks again avoided iso-ball and assisted on a large percentage of their field goals (31 assists on 43 field goals). Kyle Korver played a game-high 41 minutes and was scorching hot from the field. He was 8-11, including a lights-out 5-6 from three.
Josh Smith put up a monster effort with 30 points, 13 boards, 8 assists and 3 blocks. His 15 made field goals ties a career high. He also logged his 2000th career assist in the game, moving him past Bill Bridges and into 12th all time in franchise history.
For the second game in a row, Jannero Pargo came in off the bench in place of an injured Devin Harris. Though he could not replicate his hot shooting, he was serviceable. Rookies Mike Scott and John Jenkins also saw time due to necessity. DeShawn Stevenson made his first start since December 21, 18 games ago, but struggled shooting the ball.
It was a definitive victory over a very bad team. The two game winning streak represents much needed momentum heading into Friday’s bout with the rival Boston Celtics. The Hawks will look to exact revenge on a C’s team that embarrassed the Hawks in the second half of the last game. If neither Al Horford nor Zaza Pachulia can go, it will be a tough hill to climb. Whatever the case, Soaring Down South will keep you up-to-date on all the late-breaking injury news.
1. Josh Smith: Smoove was one off of his season-high for points and tied for his season-high of rebounds tonight. He was relied upon with this Hawks team missing Al and Zaza and certainly delivered tonight. Atlanta is a very dangerous team when Josh is on like he was tonight.
2. Kyle Korver: Korver was money all night long. He found his rhythm early on and the Bobcats failed to close out on him effectively. You can’t be more efficient than 21 points on 11 shots or almost 2 points per shot.
3. Ivan Johnson: Despite his poor shooting, Ivan was a force down low. He captured 15 boards in 32 minutes and intimidated anyone who dare cross his path.