Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 97, Pacers 87

Here is the updated game story from the Hawks’ win over the Pacers, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

You can call it the Highlight Factory again.

The Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak – all at Philips Arena – with a 97-87 victory over the Pacers Wednesday night.

Josh Smith had 28 points and 12 rebounds to lead the much-needed effort for the Hawks (17-9). His one-handed dunk off a Marvin Williams’ missed 3-pointer punctuated his performance. Joe Johnson added 20 points as the team improved to 12-1 when he scores 20 or more points.

“We played like a desperate team,” Smith said. “That is how we have to play night in and night out, like we need to win.”

It wasn’t exactly easy.

The third quarter almost bit the Hawks again. The Pacers cut an 18-point halftime deficit to just eight points, 80-72. They would get as close as seven points in the fourth quarter before the Hawks pulled away.

“Energy, that was the difference,” coach Larry Drew said. “We are like night and day when we play with energy. We were able to sustain it. We came out and played energized basketball.”

Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 17 points and Tracy McGrady added 13 points as the Hawks snapped a streak where they lost three times at home by a total of 39 points.

“Kirk came in early and was really, really energized,” Drew said. “Right now he is really trying to get his legs under him [after shoulder surgery]. This is still like training camp for him.”

Smith was 11-for-17 from the field, including making both his 3-point attempts, and had five steals and three blocked shots.

“He played just super,” Drew said of Smith. “I don’t think Josh gets the credit he deserves for what he brings to the table. He is a guy who can impact it on both ends. He was certainly a difference maker tonight.”

Danny Granger led the Pacers (17-8) with 21 points.

The Hawks led by as many as 21 points in the first half.

The lead was fueled by a 20-6 run in the second quarter after a scary moment involving Jeff Teague. The point guard drove the lane and took a nasty spill over the Pacers’ Tyler Hansbrough, hitting his head on the floor. However, the official ruled that Hansbrough was pushed by Ivan Johnson, who was called for a foul and then assessed a technical. Teague has an ice bag on his head during the ensuing timeout, but missed no time.

Teague said he also hurt his wrist in breaking his fall.

The ensuing run gave the Hawks a 55-34 lead. They kept the cushion until David West hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 18 points at the break.

Johnson scored 16 first-half points while Smith added 13 and Hinrich added 11.

“I wanted to get us off to a good start,” Johnson said. “We haven’t gotten off to great starts as of late and I wanted to be aggressive, try to make plays and get other guys involved.”

The Hawks did come out fast, scoring 32 first-quarter points. It was their second highest point total in the opening stanza this season, a point shy of 33 points they scored against the Bulls on Jan. 7.

The Pacers failed early to take advantage of the height advantage at center in 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert. He scored just four first-half points, both from outside the free-throw line. He finished with 10 points.

The Hawks out-rebounded the Pacers 45-33 as they showed a concerted effort on the glass and chasing down loose balls.

The Hawks are now 10-5 since losing Al Horford to a torn left pectoral muscle. Johnson acknowledge that most of the early success without the two-time all-star game against lesser opponents.

“Just to be realistic, the teams we were playing at first, those were subpar teams,” Johnson said prior to the game. “Those are teams you are supposed to beat whether I’m playing or whether I’m not playing or whether Al is not playing. These last three games we have played quality playoff teams and we’ve got to beat some of these teams. It’s no knock – I’m not saying we are a lot better than them. I just think the effort we’ve been putting out these last three games, we can get away with that against subpar teams. But against teams over .500, quality playoff teams, we’ve got to play hard and relentless for 48 minutes.”

The played with energy Wednesday in turning around their fortunes.

- Chris Vivlamore

278 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

February 8th, 2012
10:39 pm

From MC’s Twitter:

Michael Cunningham @ajchawks Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
#Hawks looking to add C in next cpl days. Could be for rest of season depending on player. Erick Dampier is possibility.

OH REALLY SO NOW THEY GET AROUND TO ADDING A F-CKING BIG MAN GEE YOU THINK MAYBE YOU NEED MORE DEPTH INSIDE TO GO AGAINST DWIGHT HOWARD MAYBE IF YOU HAD BROUGHT SOMEONE IN EARLIER THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY BE IN GAME SHAPE AND KNOW THE OFFENSE SO THEY COULD PLAY MORE IDIOT RETARD SUND MORON F-CKFACE

Najeh Davenpoop

February 8th, 2012
10:41 pm

With that said, good all around game by the Hawks tonight.

prison mike

February 8th, 2012
10:52 pm

“Big man update: According to Drew, he expects a signing at center in the next few days.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SmoBvg-etU

Slimjr

February 8th, 2012
10:55 pm

1-3, C’mon Hawks make some noise!

Slimjr

February 8th, 2012
10:57 pm

Adding a Big, Guess better late than never?

doc

February 8th, 2012
10:57 pm

slimj we at least broke into the win column for february. 9-4 hard to come by that you predicted unless they find that bill russell still has gas in his tank.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 8th, 2012
10:58 pm

Prison Mike, that link is pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Slimjr

February 8th, 2012
10:59 pm

yea doc, it would take a miracle right about now…Hahaha….

SteveW

February 8th, 2012
11:01 pm

If it is Dampier, I wonder what kind of shape he’ll be in?

doc

February 8th, 2012
11:04 pm

7′1 and 360?

Joe Mama

February 8th, 2012
11:04 pm

The book on Al’s injury:

► 3:15► 3:15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXF0dJGooEQ

prison mike

February 8th, 2012
11:04 pm

I guess I could stomach Damp because this time last year I was jonesing for this guy willing to pay when he got cut. He turned out to be a scrub with mia.

11 day contract

February 8th, 2012
11:04 pm

Erik dampier is about 6-10 isnt he and washed up?

Joe Mama

February 8th, 2012
11:05 pm

► 3:15► 3:15
► 3:15► 3:15
► 3:15► 3:15

doc

February 8th, 2012
11:05 pm

slimj admired and liked the optimism, you caved quick though.

11 day contract

February 8th, 2012
11:08 pm

What about chris kaman? He got 17 & 9 against the bulls tonight

doc

February 8th, 2012
11:08 pm

shoes on or shoes off 11 day?

listed at 6′11 and 265?

Joe Mama

February 8th, 2012
11:10 pm

Joe Mama

February 8th, 2012
11:14 pm

So Doc why do you think Al decided to tear his shoulder out of socket?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 8th, 2012
11:15 pm

Dang, Austin Rivers making Doc proud.

Section 303

February 8th, 2012
11:16 pm

I hope Dampier is paying the Hawks. That guy sucks.

Joe Mama

February 8th, 2012
11:17 pm

Why did Al horford faked his injury

Section 303

February 8th, 2012
11:18 pm

Great win tonight. And, there was a nice crowd at the Highlight Factory, too.

Gotta give props to Michael Gearon tonight. I watched him get on the ref who blew the call on Teague (the one where Ivan got the foul). Call was atrocious. Gearon got on the ref during the game. Like to see that.

By the way, Gearon will be meeting with season ticket holders before the Heat game on Sunday. Anyone else going? He spoke with us last year and it was good.

Also, O’Brien, good call on the Hawks win tonight. They looked like a different team out there.

Slimjr

February 8th, 2012
11:20 pm

yes, i really stepped out there on a ledge with that 9-4 prediction! Climbed back in the window with that 1st beat down loss….Hahaha.. Ken also predicted 9-4..Wonder if he is still out on the ledge?

Sautee was more conservative with his 5-8 prediction… We’ll see.

.Chris> Erik…For sure…

doc

February 8th, 2012
11:25 pm

i was at 6-7 but thought 4-9 was doable. rev gave me a bit of counseling on that one.

303 just wish ld would and show his players that thry have value and he will protect them some coaches would have gotten one t, it would have saved a t on a player, too.

JaeEvolution

February 8th, 2012
11:32 pm

Austin Rivers just reinserted himself into all 2012 mock draft’s and also made himself a top 5 pick, an impressive feat.

SteveW

February 8th, 2012
11:41 pm

Some thoughts about schedules:

Philly has played 17 home games at a 13-4 clip, while playing only 9 Road games with a record of 5-4.

I think Philly will come back down to earth a little. But they’re still good.

Boston meanwhile has only played 24 games, with 16 @ Home and 8 on the road. I think they’ll start wearing out, not only playing on the road more, but making up those two games they are behind many other teams in. A few teams are even at 27 games played at this point.

The Cavs are basically tied with the Knicks, and only 1/2 game back of the Bucks. Irving, Varejeo, Jamison, Sessions and the crew are certainly hanging tough to this point.

Indiana on the other hand has only played 9 home games, to 16 road games. They may make a run later on.

Or they may have a 3 game road losing streak like you know who.

But good win tonite – Go Hawks!!

SteveW

February 8th, 2012
11:43 pm

Home losing streak my last post should read

SteveW

February 8th, 2012
11:45 pm

Well, Teague starting was nice while it lasted – Good game tonite Kirk. Gettin’ that feelin’ that Teague is headin’ to the bench. How far down the bench, we’ll have to wait and see.

But maybe I’m wrong…

hawks_4_life

February 8th, 2012
11:46 pm

Given the make up of the hawks, I give LD 100% credit for the success of the team so far. Looks like he has come a long way from last season where I completely dogged him. That said the hawks are at a critical crossroad where we make some moves weather its minor or not to make a run (sign a big), or settle for the status quo. If we settle just blow the team up because this is a deep draft class. Im just tired of living in the middle, show some b@lls Sund. DO SOMETHING!!

Section 212

February 9th, 2012
12:03 am

Good game tonight…just got home after a brief stop by the shoe-show…Did Smoove play tonight or what?? I’m sure you all had a good time here on the blog

yodaddybrother

February 9th, 2012
12:07 am

If I’m sick and freakin tired of hearing the word “energy”…..then I know for damn sure the players on the team are. At least find a synonym for it

Grandad

February 9th, 2012
12:57 am

This is maybe the 4th or 5th time I’ve said this:

Tracy McGrady is our best low Post Player. *[offense inferred]

I really think I would replace Marv with T-Mac.
Only I would play T-Mac at the [5] on offense.
Defensively – match accordingly.

I did not see the 1st half tonight;
therefore I know not who started ?

Tracy is clever, smooth, resourceful, canny, and skillful in the post.

drmaryb.[*_*].

February 9th, 2012
1:17 am

Cold Hard Cash!

“303 just wish ld would and show his players that thry have value and he will protect them some coaches would have gotten one t, it would have saved a t on a player, too.” -doc-
_____________

Come on doc, you know Mr. Drew gotta feed the wife and kids. He just splurged on some fitted suits from Nique’s supplier and besides, the players make more and can afford a couple of T’s at $1K per pop. LOL!
_____________

Did yawl see Stern’s comments in that article about how he “think” ASKG are committed to the Hawks and the fans? Well, how about putting some money on the blacked out scoreboards and shut down that 2M RED Restaurant! We don’t want none of them dried out cheap skate steaks! Especially if they taste like these silly losses to good teams. LOL

HawkEye

February 9th, 2012
1:34 am

Good win by the Hawks tonight. It always feels good to get a much needed win, but games keep coming and getting tougher and the hawks are still very thin at the 5. Nonetheless, good effort tonight.

Irrelevant, but that Spurs team out west looks scary good. Don’t think I’ve seen Duncan and Parker look this good for a couple years.

rasputin

February 9th, 2012
2:00 am

Tmac is probal the best player on the Hawks in the high post. Dude is amazing. he has terrefic post moves and can draw a ton of fouls. Not to mention his immense court vision.

northcyde

February 9th, 2012
2:08 am

I agree with yodaddy.

By Drew continuing to use “energy” as the main reason why the Hawks win or lose games, it absolves him of any responsibility. To Drew, it’s not his lineups, or his gameplan, or his in-game adjustments, or his substitution patterns that sees us lose a game.

It’s strictly all about “energy”.

Is that the only way we can win games? To “out energy” people? How about coaching adjustments that lead to a victory?

At least Drew did most of what I wanted him to do. JJ and Smith played major minutes. And Vlad hardly saw the floor. JJ and Smith can get their rest vs sorry teams. Against top level teams, their minutes should be on the heavy side.

Wish Josh would’ve had a few games like this the past 2 weeks. A performance like this may be too little too late.

HawkEye

February 9th, 2012
2:20 am

Honest assessment on Josh Smith.

I honestly don’t mind Smoove taking the OPEN jumper every now and then, but he should live on the inside. IMO, post play should take precedence over perimeter play for him.

One thing I have seen with Josh is that he has a hard time getting inside with dribble penetration (especially from the perimeter). His handles aren’t great and he usually passes the ball when attempting to dribble inside from the perimeter. I think he should get low post position kinda like Dwight Howard and work his way around the basket. Plus, this puts him in good position for an offensive rebound or a put-back .

Another thing is that at least in the paint he has a better chance of getting to the foul line. It is very difficult to draw fouls on jumpers unless your name is Jamal Crawford.

Just my observation. Nonetheless, great game tonight from Josh on both ends of the court.

HawkEye

February 9th, 2012
2:26 am

Good to see Kirk produce, but gotta find some mins for Pargo. This guy was playing well prior to Kirk’s return.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2012
3:18 am

drmaryb.[*_*].

February 9th, 2012
6:14 am

University of Excellence!

NorthyCyde
Hawk_Eye
_______

I’m enjoying this cup of joe and the wheaties these two are serving up.

Dawg

February 9th, 2012
6:15 am

Kirk had a good game, we can now expect Teague to disappear.

Sund is horrible.

O'Brien

February 9th, 2012
7:18 am

303,

I figured the Hawks would win last night, because that’s what they do. Predictably unpredictable, as doc calls it. The problem is, after a good win last night, I wouldnt be surprised to see them lay an egg in their next game. Just like Josh and JJ are up and down, the Hawks team is always up and down.

northcyde, yodaddy,

co-sign. All LD talks about is energy, so once again, win or lose, he puts it all on the players. My question is, why can’t we win games even when we don’t have the energy? NBA teams do that all the team. I’m just not impressed by LD’s overall coaching.

O'Brien

February 9th, 2012
7:23 am

•#Hawks looking to add C in next cpl days. Could be for rest of season depending on player. Erick Dampier is possibility..

Najeh,

If they add a player for the rest of the season, chances are they will be over the luxury tax. And that aint happening (imo). Notice how they add Could be for rest of season depending on player.

Haven’t we heard that line before from gearon. “We’ll go into LT for the right player”. As fake Rick Sund said on twitter. That player has to be a hybrid between Magic, MJ, and LeBron.

They should have signed a player a week or 2 ago, to give them a chance to get in game shape, learn the offense, and be ready to contribute in February. But no. Typical Hawks management and ownership, dragging their feet.

Section 303

February 9th, 2012
7:37 am

If the Hawks do end up paying the luxary tax, will be harder and harder to rip the ASG any longer. I am still in the “I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it” group, but would be impressed if the ownership group put themselves in the tax to try and improve the team. Like Stern said, not many teams are willing to make that move.

Also, again, I love Gearon getting on the ref last night. Probably the quickest way for one of the owners to win me over is to give sh#t to officals. The officiating in the league is just brutal. Was refreshing to see one of the owners stand up to it, rather than sit there with arms folded like so many others do.

Dawg

February 9th, 2012
7:45 am

If they pay the luxury as a result of guaranteeing the contract of Stackhouse, that is stupidity and not committment.

terrell

February 9th, 2012
8:06 am

“Energy”. So sick of that word. YOU MAKE MILLIONS TO PLAY FREAKIN BASKETBALL. THAT ALONE SHOULD GIVE YOU PLENTY OF ENERGY. Now go sign a center.

O'Brien

February 9th, 2012
8:07 am

303,

I dont think LD (or Woody) did a good enough job getting on the refs (during the game or even in the media).

As for the LT, will the ASG really pay the luxury tax for Dampier? And if they are willing to pay the tax for him, then why not just bring him in 2 weeks ago? All signs point to the ASG going with a 10 day contract and staying under the tax.

SqawkFan

February 9th, 2012
8:12 am

seems Joe agrees with coach Drew that ENERGY is the difference to this team. so much for you back seat coaches disdain for coach calling it like he sees it. go Hawks!

SteveW

February 9th, 2012
8:17 am

OB – 1st, ASG I think really believed they were in the KMart sweepstakes, so that is on reason they did not sign Dampier two weeks ago.

I also think they wanted to see who was waived this week, to see if there was anyone who may have helped us when the non-guaranteed’s had to be moved on.

And they may have wanted to see how Kito did in DLeague.

But the real reason maybe it saved them approx. $75,000.00 in the prorated portion of a Vet Min. salary for the remainder of the year.

Or some combination of the above reasons.