Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 109, Clippers 102

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my updated game story, with quotes, from tonight’s victory over the Clippers.

In his words, Joe Johnson “accidentally” made the biggest shot of a huge win.

The Hawks rose to the level of their competition  — in a big way – for a 109-102 victory over the Clippers Tuesday in a game with major postseason implications for both teams. The Hawks’ battle for home-court advantage against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoff race comes down to the regular season-finales Thursday. The Hawks need a win over the Mavericks to maintain their one-game lead over the Celtics, who defeated the Heat Tuesday. The Hawks would also clinch home court with a Celtics loss to the Bucks.

Johnson’s 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining brought the Philips Arena crowd to its collective feet. However, his desperation 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining, with the shot clock expiring, was the final dagger in the impressive win. Johnson controlled the rebound of a missed shot but didn’t realize it had not touched the rim and the clock continued to wind down. He heaved a shot from near the sideline that banked in as the buzzer sounded.

“I looked up and saw one point something on the clock and I just really want to heave it up there and at least hit the rim,” Johnson said. “I accidentally made it.”

The Hawks (39-26), winners of eight of their past 11, avenged a March loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles. They have now won three straight against the Clippers at Philips Arena.

“The  basketball gods were with us tonight,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “I’m glad he had the awareness to peak up at the clock because that could have been a shot-clock violation very easily. That was a huge shot.”

The Clippers (40-25) failed in an attempt to tie the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead and the third seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They lost for only the second time in the past eight games and are 14-4 since March 24.

Johnson, who became the sixth leading scorer in franchise history, led the Hawks with 28 points. He surpassed Kevin Willis and now has 10,591 points with the Hawks. Next up is John Drew (12,621 points). Jeff Teague added 19 points, including the final six points from the free-throw line. Josh Smith had 18 points.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with a game-high 36 points as Los Angeles battled back from a 13-point third-quarter deficit and got as close as four points in the fourth quarter. Chris Paul added 34 points as one two Clippers scored in double-figures – a key to the Hawks win. Griffin did most of the damage early as the Hawks defended him straight up, mostly with Smith. He scored 22 first-half points, tying the Thunders’ Kevin Durant for the most points scored in a half against the Hawks this season. Griffin scored the Clippers first eight points of the game and 16 of their first 21 points.

“The focus and the commitment of our guys not to get discouraged early with Blake Griffin,” Drew said of the key to victory. “We made the decision to defend him the way we defended him and he made shots. We could have very easily panicked at that point, double team and try to take the ball out of his hands. We maintained our focus as far as what our game plan and game strategy was against him. … He made jump shots and we made the decision to live with that.”

Griffin and Paul combined for 70 of the Clippers’ 102 points.

“We saw their numbers but we saw everybody else’s numbers,” Smith said. “Being able to cut everybody else’s water off was definitely beneficial. We didn’t want everyone else to get into a rhythm.

The Hawks closed the third quarter on a 15-2 run to take an 85-72 lead going into the final quarter. Smith scored 10 points in the quarter, including a crowd-raising dunk off a Marvin Williams miss. Teague added nine points in the third and blocked a Paul layup attempt. Teague later sent a Caron Butler shot four rows deep into the crowd in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks led 52-50 at the half by outscoring the Clippers by seven points in the second quarter. Williams came off the bench and scored 11 points during the quarter, nine in an 18-4 Hawks run. A key defensive play during the run came with Ivan Johnson blocked a Nick Young dunk attempt that started a fast break.

Williams, who scored 29 points Sunday against the Knicks, said he was determined to be more aggressive in an effort to get going early. He led the Hawks bench, which finished with 32 combined points, most in the second and third quarters as they overcame a deficit and handed a lead back to the starters.

“Those guys came in and controlled the tempo,” said Johnson, who had 15 first-half points. “They controlled the whole second quarter and that was big. Then they controlled the third quarter as well. In the fourth, we were able to come back in and try to put it away. Our bench won the MVP tonight.

The Hawks have shot over 50 percent or more from the field in their past three games.

“With both teams playing for something – we’ve been playing pretty good lately but we have not been finishing games – coming down the stretch of tonight’s game I could tell our guys were mentally focused,” Drew said. “… It was a game that had a playoff feel to it. With the game having the type of meaning for both ball clubs, we wanted to bring our best effort. And I thought our guys did a good job with that.”

69 comments Add your comment

Slimjr

April 24th, 2012
11:27 pm

Slimjr

April 24th, 2012
11:27 pm

Slimjr

April 24th, 2012
11:30 pm

“I looked up and saw one point something on the clock and I just really want to heave it up there and at least hit the rim,” Johnson said. “I accidentally made it.”

Quote of the week thus far! Hahaha

UGA

April 24th, 2012
11:46 pm

The major question is will Dallas rest people (they were 0-4 vs the Lakers) and what will the Bucks do, then of course if we win nothing matters

Slimjr

April 24th, 2012
11:51 pm

Kevin Willis would be an Allstar Center today! Watching him play on NBA TV classics against the Bulls just confirms it..

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 24th, 2012
11:51 pm

Dallas!

13 – 19 on the road
5 – 5 last ten
1L – win streak
_____

The harvest is ripe for the picking.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 24th, 2012
11:52 pm

Big Line Up, next.

damienwilko

April 24th, 2012
11:54 pm

More tmac pleaSE. More calmness, cool plays, crisp passes….

Slimjr

April 24th, 2012
11:54 pm

Agreed drmaryb..Hawks got this one…Piece of cake.

ZaZa will be ready for the Celts.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 24th, 2012
11:55 pm

No Viv observations. This looks more like an article, not a blog.

Marvina got stripped posting up Mo Williama.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 25th, 2012
12:02 am

“Marvina got stripped posting up Mo Williama.”
_______

FTPB, some body said, Marvin should take it to the rim! LOL! Marvin got mugged from behind by “Mugsy Bouges” (all career long!) LOL

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

April 25th, 2012
12:07 am

Will the Hawks make it to the Eastern Conference Finals?

FIRE SUND

bsg3003

April 25th, 2012
12:09 am

can you imagine how good teague would be right now if he had gotten adequate playing time his first 3 years?

Lacsho

April 25th, 2012
12:12 am

You people need to quit. Do you ever read over the blog after a game? First and foremost you have three suspects posing under 4 different usernames. Then you have the so called Doctor giving LD the head coach of the year award. Well Mary I will give you 10 reasons why LD should be fired:

1. LD does not have the respect of his players, since he shows so much favoritism to Josh, Joe, and Kirk.
2. He’s coached over or close to 200 hundreds games as a head coach, the man has four technicals, and he’s been thrown out 111111once, no he’s never been thrown out. Unlike a Great coach, Doc Rivers. Doc plays the refs that’s why the Cletics get most of their calls.
3. Question: Why do you think Josh always screams at the Ref’s? Answer: LD has know heart. Most of the time, a team will take on the coaches’ demeanor. Again I will allude to the top 10 west coast coaches and the top, well ever other coach in the eastern conference playoff race besides LD and Orlando’s crazy coach.
4. He’s never calls out his so-called best player aka Joe Johnson. Joe has blown more games than LD over the last couple of years. And, we will not discuss Josh’s antics. All of the good coach’s bench their star players: it keeps the players honest and the team balanced.
5. Why do you think the Hawks allow so many teams to come back? Answer: you saw it tonight. The Hawks had them down by 14 going into the 4th quarter. A great coach like Doc Rivers would’ve gone for the kill, and started his starters (everybody but Josh) in the 4th. Josh has had two bad games back to back. Again, Doc has done it to us plenty of times over the years.
6. He has this dynamic offense, but our power foward loves to jack up jump shots, instead of driving the ball and either dunking or getting fouled. Speaking of Josh, when will LD learn that he needs to get the ball to Teague on the break, since Teague can get the ball up the court in three seconds. Teague would love to throw Josh a lob on the break.
7. LD is the definition of insanity. When will you learn to rest JJ for a game or two during the season? A great coach like Pop does it all of the time. Question: why does JJ have problems closing out games? Answer: they treat him like the falcons treat Michael Turner. They continue to run him in the ground even during meaningless games, but he won’t hesitate to rest Teague, go figure. Teague the one guy who never gets tired.
8. He keeps starting Twin.
9. His substitutions make know since. The games he needs to rest JJ, he plays him the entire game. Moreover, the games he needs to play JJ; he plays the bench too much.
10. Again, he keeps starting and playing Twin. You mean to tell me we couldn’t get a taller Ivan from the DLeauge.

I digress, and those of you with multiple usernames. YOU HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS, PLEASE GET A LIFE.

Peace Mary,

Lacsho

TMACfan

April 25th, 2012
12:17 am

Keep playing TMAC in the FOURTH!!!

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 25th, 2012
12:17 am

Kevin Willis!

To SlimJr: my sweet baby boy …

Saw him here in Roswell, GA recently @ Super Target. Super cordial man, had a brief convo. I was walking behind him and noticed how tall he was, at first I didnt know who he was. Pressed blue jeans, Purple checkered dress shirt with the tail out. Adidas zig-zag sneakers, looked like he was all of 6′10″, very thin frame, no where near his playing weight.

We talked about the hawks and Nique for a minute, shook hands. When a Hawk, Kevin was a clothes designer and tailor. He loves to dress, that’s what he would have done, had he not been so damned tall. LOL

Kevin was never a center, always a PF and great rebounder even though they said he had alligator arms. Funny thing is, the first thing I noticed about him was how long his arms were. Perception is not always reality.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 25th, 2012
12:26 am

Imbecile Retard!

“Then you have the so called Doctor giving LD the head coach of the year award. Well Mary I will give you 10 reasons why LD should be fired:”
______________

I stopped reading at, “so called Doctor”. So, FCK YOU & YO MAMMA TOO – BYTCH!
Get your scroll on, like I’m doing you. I’m not reading past the insult, so talk to your DCK!

LT

April 25th, 2012
12:32 am

Lacsho,

Those reasons are dumb. Clearly you don’t watch the games… Im am far from being a LD fan and I can only agree with your #2 reason. LOL

LT

April 25th, 2012
12:34 am

anyways….Great win Hawks!!! I love that JJ said to Teague and Josh, “We need to go out there and play like we are desperate”. Shows he may be accepting the leadership role! :)

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 25th, 2012
12:34 am

… and, that’s drmaryb to you, you disrespectful SOB. (smh)

LT

April 25th, 2012
12:36 am

LOL @Maryb!!

Slimjr

April 25th, 2012
12:37 am

Hey dude don’t mess with drmaryb! Respect is the key to life.. Those who attack other bloggers should seek help immediately..

Doctors are waiting for your call!

TMACfan

April 25th, 2012
12:39 am

Both teams shot exactly 50%… How weird is that?

Lacsho

April 25th, 2012
12:40 am

You prove my point Mary; I feel sorry for your patients. Furthermore, your just like the rest of these cowards on this blog. You talk major noise on a blog, but you nor your husband would say one word to me in the street.

My family just found out my mother may have CANCER. Whose the LOOSER now MARY.

Goodnight, I’ve prove my point. And before you check me you better call Doc or Big Ray. They will tell you all about me. I’m not a runner, but I’d rather tell you the rest to your face.

Sweet Dreams!!!

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 25th, 2012
12:43 am

LT

You sir, can call me Maryb. I don ‘t have an ego about what I do for a living. I am a public servant. the kids call me Ms. Mary, my friends call me Mary B.

Like my Father, I have zero tolerance for ignorance and, illiterate people. Drew will get an extension, mainly for his low salary demand and, doing a good job, but mostly for the cheapness of the ASKG. No one ever crowned him COTY, certainly not me.

doc

April 25th, 2012
12:56 am

jacsho, sorry to hear about your mom. my mother died of metastatic colon ca in her mid-60’s and far too early. it was even more traumatic as i was involved in her care while the diagnosis was being made to even review first hand the ct scan that showed the mets to the liver. right then i knew she would not last a year. i hope the prognosis for your mom is better than that.

bro, if you have any questions going forward please call. i think you might have my number still or i might have yours. anyway, enjoy the precious moments no matter the prognosis.

as far as dmb she is one of the cool ones here and can rant as well as you can bro as you just foiund out. she wont back off. again, she is a pretty good chick, if i might say so myself without gdad getting too jealous. so, apologize and kiss and make up. she too might be able to help in some way. i hate it when folks and good ones at that cant get along.

doc

April 25th, 2012
12:59 am

that was of course Lacsho. dude my typing isnt any better in the seven years or so we been here. you should see it on my dumb phone.;-)

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 25th, 2012
1:03 am

Everybody has One!

Everybody has a sad story to tell, that is no excuse to disrepect others. I buried my entire immediate family by the time I was twenty one years of age. Sister, Father, Mother and Brother. Both my parents were adopted.

These facts does not give me nor anyone else on a sports blog to be disrespectful to others. Don’t provoke others and, it may go well for you in life.

Good Nite Hawks fan. My work is here is done for tonight.

AG

April 25th, 2012
1:08 am

Great game..I really doubt LD will get fired. He is actually doing a better job. He is not perfect, but he is learning. We are actually seeing less of KH. Not seeing much of him after the 3rd quarter.

Andre

April 25th, 2012
1:11 am

This is why D.C. is called “Chocolate City” and the hub for black intellectuals and Atlanta is called the “Mecca” for black media (mostly stereotypical). Atlanta has doctors that say things like “FCK YOU & YO MAMMA TOO – BYTCH!”

I’m so glad I left that dump for PG County, Maryland.

JSS

April 25th, 2012
1:46 am

I went to the game tonight and sat with some very enthusiastic fans of every shade of fandom near the club level… It was a very entertaining game! I want to give a mighty hand to the Hawks 2nd unit! Sometimes they were maddening, but they got the lead on numerous occasions and made real contributions!

I went immediately to lottery outlet, because Joe showed the bank was open! ;-)

Scoop

April 25th, 2012
1:52 am

I thought Josh played a very “solid” game tonight. And that’s the best thing I could say for him. He was playing within himself AND playing hard. He boxed out on the glass, set good-hard screens AND rolled to the basket (instead of camping on the three), AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, did not turn the ball over (except for a bogus traveling call).

Also, he played pretty good defense on Griffin tonight. The dude was clearly frustrated by Josh’s length (AND Ivan’s grit I might add), and it showed with the tech he got for abusing Teague late in the game.

Josh gets a lot of attention and criticism for his play (rightfully so IMO), but i believe the reason is bc he is the X-factor of our team. Josh can score, we all know that, but that’s not what we need from him to win ball games. We need him to be ACTIVE on the glass, enforce his will on defense and in the paint, and we need his athleticism in transition. AND we need him to not turn the ball over, take bad shots, and complain to the officials like a whining baby.

If we’re going anywhere in the playoffs then Josh has to play within himself. He should let his teammates take care of scoring and he should focus dominating the other areas. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-This team will go as far as Josh wants us to go…….I can’t wait to see what happens bc these playoffs are gonna be epic!

Grandad

April 25th, 2012
1:58 am

Lascho

She ain`t gotta call doc nor Big ray !
I`m right here.

I`ll meet you on the street any place anytime;
behind the woodshed, on a dirt road, or mid ct at a Hawks game.

I don`t run neither.

I`ll pray with you or beat your ass whichever you prefer.

What`s your beef.
_____________________________________________

Now;
about your mom … I`ll keep her along with your entire family
in my prayers.

” do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

” Humble yourselves, therefore,
under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
____________________________________________

Yes; I am very much a paradox.
I am a Godly man.
However, by nature I`m a warrior.

Grandad

April 25th, 2012
2:10 am

doc

No jealously here my friend.

Mary Ellen and myself;
appreciate our affinité for one another.

Grandad

April 25th, 2012
2:13 am

Big Ray not Big ray

-no disrespect intended-

Guido

April 25th, 2012
2:16 am

I know they give box scores to the reporters after every quarter. Can we report the games properly? I know this isn’t GA Football but damn. There are people who actually care to read some good game reporting. Sloppy!!!!!!

doc

April 25th, 2012
2:19 am

just playing bro.

hawksfan4life

April 25th, 2012
6:09 am

Anyone here think Joe could give it to Kobe one on one? I know I do. Go Hawks!

Buddy Grizzard

April 25th, 2012
6:45 am

Superior blog man is back! Calling people out on a blog takes mad courage!

Mike is Back

April 25th, 2012
8:06 am

Glad to see LD left Tmack on the floor to close the game. IVAN is a MONSTER!!

Probably the best game I seen from Teague since last year playoff.

JJ and Josh have answered the call to step up as leaders.

IS THAT MARVIN…………………..Daaaaang?

Without a doubt…Pargo and Willie Green has added some added extra punch coming off the bench.

When these guys play in attack mode…they are a very entertaining team to watch.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Section 303

April 25th, 2012
8:07 am

Sweet game last night! One of the better games of the year. Great job all the way around by the Hawks.

Question for those who watched on TV….was Teague not fouled late in the 4th by Blake Griffen? I’m talking about the play right before Griffen and Teague had their spat while going for the loose ball. Clips had the ball, Blake was posting up, Teague dropped down to double, and Griffen appeared to grab Teague, nearly pulling Teague down. There was no call. Should there have been? Could not believe that Bavetta and his band of idiots refs let that go.

The Lion King

April 25th, 2012
8:18 am

TEAGUE needs to be traded as of yesterday. He is not the point guard we need and its clear why so many coaches bench this guy. Now hes playing to guard because hes not intelligent enough to run an offense. Hes a good back up but should not be a starter.

Dancing Star

April 25th, 2012
8:20 am

Fact is

April 25th, 2012
8:09 am

Teague is not intelligent enough to be a point guard so last night he play a 2 guard and the offense was distributed though Swoosh Smith.

Thats the beauty of Josh. He has a total game and is the most critical player on the hawks team. Josh Must stay at the powerforward and continue to own the position as a point forward because the hawks just dont have a true or intelligent point guard. I hope we package Al and or Teague and go after a real point guard.

Thank Goodness Josh can distribute, shoot, defend and run the team from the 4 position. I agree Josh is this teams MVP.

In the interim project cases like Al horford, Jeff teague and Marvin Williams need to be traded for upgrades.

Only then will this team take it beyond the 2nd round.

Link
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Fact is

April 25th, 2012
8:13 am

Thats a good trade Rick, Id do that, but Hold out for 3 1st round picks to go along with Bynum. We are giving up all nba all star all chiit Al, right? Plus Brainless Teague. Yeah hold out for 3 1st rounders. Over back to back to back years.

All Scrub Al.

J

April 25th, 2012
8:39 am

I’ve got one thing to say, so listen closely … why the hell does the AJC have a Braves regular season win article on the front page online and nothing on the Hawks beating the Clippers and closing in on home court advantage? This is a huge reason why your paper is garbage. THE BRAVES DID NOTHING SPECIAL LAST NIGHT! uN-F@CK*NG-BELIEVABLE!!!!!

Kevin G

April 25th, 2012
8:52 am

PG- Teague
SG- TMAC
SF-Joe
PF- Josh
C- Ivan Johnson

Kerry

April 25th, 2012
9:39 am

Great Game Hawks, Hawks bench played awesome, Joe came threw for us when we needed him, Hope joe and the hawks can keep up the good work! We are going to need it playin boston!! GO HAWKS!

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2012
9:59 am

Fun game last night. Could you imagine if CP3 and Blake had dropped 65+ on someone like Bibby & Horford?

Section 303

April 25th, 2012
10:03 am

Lion King, go find another sport. You simply do not understand this one.

O'brien

April 25th, 2012
10:24 am

303,

I think it was a foul. Blake had his hand around Teague’s neck.

Defensively, we had some breakdowns, but it was still a good win for the Hawks last night. JJ made some big shots, and Teague played well in the second half. And I like the path Marvin is on, so hopefully he keeps it going.

Everytime CP3 plays in ATL, I can’t help but think about what might have been.

Sideline Dude

April 25th, 2012
10:42 am

Metta World Peace – what kind of name is that? Just another NBA thug. The NBA & boxing need to go away.