Hawks vs. Bobcats - Recap
The Atlanta Hawks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 104-92 on the road. This was the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between these two teams. With the win, the Hawks improved to 24-18 on the season and 4-0 in the regular season series with the Bobcats. The starters for the Hawks were Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, and DeShawn Stevenson in the backcourt, and Josh Smith and Ivan Johnson in the frontcourt. Devin Harris (sprained left ankle) did not dress, despite Coach Larry Drew saying prior to the game that he would play. Al Horford (sore left calf), Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles), Anthony Morrow (back), and Louis Williams (torn ACL, right knee) did not travel with the team. The leading scorer for the Hawks was Josh Smith, with a game-high 30 points. He also grabbed 13 boards and dished out eight assists, giving him a double-double on the night. Kyle Korver added 21 points, shooting 5/6 from beyond the arc. Ivan Johnson contributed a double-double in his first career start, with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Jeff Teague had 10 points and six assists. The leading scorer for the Bobcats was Ramon Sessions, with a season-high 27 points. In the first quarter, the Hawks outscored the Bobcats 28-20. In the second quarter, the Bobcats got within two, but the Hawks closed the quarter on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 53-46 at the break. In the third quarter, Josh Smith scored eight of the Hawks' first 10 points, and the Hawks outscored the Bobcats 26-21. In the fourth quarter, the Hawks and Bobcats each scored 25 points, and the Hawks got the 12-point victory. I think there were a couple of keys to this win for the Hawks. First off, the whole team (but especially Ivan and Josh) helped the Hawks outrebound the Bobcats 45-41 in the absence of Al and Zaza. Secondly, Josh did a great job of exploiting the fact that the Bobcats were without Byron Mullens (probably their best four) by completely dominating offensively. Thirdly, the Hawks had great ball movement, which is what they will need to keep their offense going with their best one-on-one player in Louis Williams out for the season. Finally, the Hawks came out strong in both the first and third quarters, which have been two of the times when the Hawks have struggled the most this season. Great win for the Hawks against the division-rival Bobcats.