The Hawks salvaged a season split with the Brooklyn Nets and won handily 105-93.
For the second time in two games, Jeff Teague came off the bench and in his place was Devin Harris. The rest of the lineup was what you would expect (Korver, Stevenson, Smith, Horford).
Reggie Evans was able to shake free a couple times early for some easy baskets and provided his usual ferocity on the glass. He finished with an astounding 22 rebounds.
Joe Johnson looked ready to face his former team early on. He came out and hit some long bombs but eventually slid toward his mediocre season scoring average. His matchup, Dahntay Jones, did his best Joe Johnson impression by hitting some contested long two pointers. He was near automatic tonight and helped the Hawks get through a sluggish first three quarters.
Jeff Teague looked very hesitant on his sore ankle like he did last game and had a severe problem finishing at the rim. It’s still only his second game back and as a player that relies on his speed and agility, it will take a couple of games for him to feel 100% comfortable again.
Josh Smith settled for some long jumpers, a recipe for disaster as we’ve seen, but the offense in the first half was buoyed by John Jenkins, Kyle Korver and Dahntay Jones, who went a combined 9-13 in the first half for 22 points. DeShawn Stevenson even put in a 35 foot heave to beat the shot clock just before halftime.
Jeff Teague, however, turned it on in a big way in the second half. Despite shooting 4-13, Teague was the best Hawk point guard on the floor and logged an incredible 15 assists. Jeff Teague’s 15 assists tied a career high.
In the fourth quarter, the Hawks pulled away from the Nets and left no doubt by the closing minutes. The Hawks won that quarter 34-20 and sent the Brooklynites in Barclays Arena on their merry way to try to enjoy the rest of St. Patrick’s Day.
It marks the 3rd straight win for the Hawks, putting them 5th in the East and only 3 games behind the 2nd seeded Indiana Pacers.
1. Al Horford: He was the only one of the Hawks big three that played a complete game. He logged his 38th double double of the season and 14th 20 point-10 rebound game. His best shot was a falling down toss up that hit only the bottom of the net.
2. Josh Smith: He started out slow, but eventually the slow-footed Brooklyn bigs had no answer for him. 21 points on 14 shots, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. Ho hum. Like Horford, Josh Smith put in a tough shot from the left block fading away from his defender for an And-1 opportunity.
3. Dahntay Jones: Not to be outdone, Dahntay Jones put in a circus shot of his own, falling behind the backboard after laying a ball up in transition. He helped hold Joe Johnson to 7-16 shooting and went 6-7 from the field in his finest game as an Atlanta Hawk.