Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 104, Thunder 95

Vivlamore reporting from Oklahoma City.

The Lou Williams signing looks pretty darn good right about now.

The Hawks did what few thought was possible on Sunday. They entered one hostile environment and stared down the defending Western Conference champion Thunder. Oh, and did we mention they did so without star Josh Smith.

Williams had a run of 10 straight points late in the fourth quarter as the Hawks defeated the Thunder 104-95 silencing a once raucous sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Williams scored 14 of the Hawks’ final 23 points. DeShawn Stevenson hit a 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining that put the Hawks up 100-91. Williams then hit four free throws in the final seconds to ice the victory and end a Thunder mini-run.

“Over the past four or five years of my career, the fourth quarter has probably been my best,” said Williams, who finished with 19 points. “I’ve always gotten off to slow starts for whatever reason. I just pick it up in the fourth quarter. It’s something I’ve done in the past and something I want to bring to this team.”

Williams also had a team-high 22 points in the season-opening loss to the Rockets.

The Hawks also got a strong effort from Al Horford. The center finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Horford scored eight of the Hawks’ first 13 points. After a scoreless second quarter, Horford scored nine of the Hawks’ first 19 points of the third quarter.

“Coach went to me early in the third,” Horford said. “He wanted to get me back involved. I missed some shots that I usually make. I just stayed positive and kept playing. Whatever the defense gave me, I just played off that.”

The Hawks (1-1) got contributions from nearly the entire team. All 10 players who entered the game scored at least four points. Jeff Teague had 16 points, including eight in the first quarter. Ivan Johnson added 10 points.

The Hawks’ rebounding, which was such a sore spot in their season-opening loss to the Rockets, was impressive. The Hawks held a 38-37 advantage on the boards.

Although the victory came in the second game of the young season, coach Larry Drew and his team did not want to underestimate the scope of the win.

“If you look at it before the game probably a lot of people didn’t give us any kind of chance,” Horford said. “It just shows character of this team. … This was a team effort we are pretty proud about.”

The Thunder (1-2) were led by Kevin Martin with a game-high 28 points, including 22 in the first half. Kevin Durant added 22 points and 12 rebounds.

With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Drew elected to stay with a veteran lineup of Zaza Pachulia, Devin Harris, Horford, Stevenson and Williams.

“Lou got into a rhythm and we were going to ride it,” Drew said. “I had to make a decision whether to bring Jeff and Kyle (Korver) back but the group that was in there had a good rhythm going and I didn’t want to do anything to disrupt that. We decided to ride Lou’s hot hand. He made some really good baskets.”

The Hawks led by as many as 10 points in the first half.  Jeff Teague and Al Horford each had eight first-quarter points to lead the early offense. Horford scored six of the Hawks’ first eight points of the game. Ivan Johnson provided energy off the bench with six points and two rebounds in the half.

The Thunder stormed back and closed the second quarter on a 22-9 run to take a 51-47 lead into intermission.

The Hawks rallied in the third quarter, tied the game on four occasions and took two leads. Anthony Morrow drained a 3-pointer for a late three-point lead. The Hawks took a 75-74 advantage into the decisive final quarter.

It was the Hawks’ second straight win over the Thunder. They won their only meeting last season, 97-90, playing without Joe Johnson in Atlanta.

So, that Williams signing looks pretty good now.

“I would hope,” Williams said with a smile. “We will see. It’s early.”

- Chris Vivlamore

LATEST NEWS

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* Rockets 109, Hawks 102

* Smith on verge of statistical milestone

* Smith, Horford are interim captains

* Reasons for optimism

* Five things we learned from the preseason

* Teague, Pachulia return to full-contact practice, ready for opener

* Failure not an option for Tolliver

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

162 comments Add your comment

Jason S

November 4th, 2012
11:24 pm

1st … Good win!

GO HAWKS!

Joe

November 4th, 2012
11:31 pm

Trade josh………..now!

Najeh Davenpoop

November 4th, 2012
11:31 pm

Great win. With that said, FTPB…

“This game made Josh look expendable…..”

And the last time the Hawks beat the Thunder, Joe and Al looked pretty expendable.

One game doesn’t determine that one way or another.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 4th, 2012
11:31 pm

We got murdered on boards vs Asik but outrebounded Ibaka Perkins Collison

Buddy G

November 4th, 2012
11:33 pm

Joe

November 4th, 2012
11:33 pm

And yes a great win. Can’t wait for Friday.

i_am_soulstar

November 4th, 2012
11:34 pm

Very nice win. Lou was money in the 4th. And Teague really impressed with energizing plays.

#1 PRHawksfan

November 4th, 2012
11:34 pm

For all you Horford’s haters shhhhhhhh…great game Al, jeep it going. GO HAWKS!!!

Rusty

November 4th, 2012
11:34 pm

After a great first half the idiot LARRY DREW benchesJT in the 4th quarter & don’t play him much in the 3rd was JTshooting to much & the idiot didn’t like that. If I was JT I would be gone next year.

Rusty

November 4th, 2012
11:36 pm

Tyger want to keep putting JT down ,sure makes you look real stupid

i_am_soulstar

November 4th, 2012
11:37 pm

NBA LeaguePass having the Hawks only regular season games during the trial period in audio only isn’t very convincing for a Hawks fan like myself to acquire said service.

Q

November 4th, 2012
11:38 pm

IM WITH YOU JOE. . . . HE’S GOT TO GO!!!!

Rusty

November 4th, 2012
11:42 pm

Great game Al maybe some of these jerks here will get all your back. I can’t believe Ivan only got 12 min.

i_am_soulstar

November 4th, 2012
11:42 pm

If u guys think this team is better off without Josh after one game, then we have nothing more to talk about.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 4th, 2012
11:45 pm

Ivan had 10 points, 4 boards and a steal in 12 minutes of game time. There is simply no excuse for him not to play.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 4th, 2012
11:46 pm

For comparison’s sake, Tolliver (who started at PF) had 6 points and 3 boards in 22 minutes of playing time.

#1 PRHawksfan

November 4th, 2012
11:47 pm

Rusty & i_am_soulstar I agree with you both!!! A lot of ignorant comments. Al & Josh both all stars this year!!!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 4th, 2012
11:47 pm

Teague prob didn’t play 4th because Lou is good in the 4th and Harris is a vet. Just sayin…

drmaryb.(""_*).

November 4th, 2012
11:49 pm

PLAY Ivan _ MF-er!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rusty

November 4th, 2012
11:53 pm

No JT didn’t play in the 4th quarter because LD hates him & is a aZz hole. He just wants to keep him in his place,big man who kisses other people’s azz.

Rusty

November 4th, 2012
11:54 pm

Je Je don’t tell me you don’t know that by now.

Grandad

November 4th, 2012
11:56 pm

I`m with Rusty and Najeh;

Ivan, with only 12+ min, unacceptable.

Rusty

November 4th, 2012
11:57 pm

Play Ivan & JT MF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 4th, 2012
11:57 pm

It’d be kinda cool to see Josh return to Philips on another team and brick jumpshots all day, but maybe another HC could get through to him. He hasn’t really had a real head coach yet in his career

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 4th, 2012
11:58 pm

Rusty,

No. Others don’t realize that

Grandad

November 4th, 2012
11:59 pm

I`m completely underwhelmed with Devin Harris at this point.

Just Joe

November 4th, 2012
11:59 pm

Why take out Lou or Devin in the 4th? They were winning the game for us. Teague will be fine.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 5th, 2012
12:00 am

And the worst part is that the one thing Tolliver supposedly does better than Ivan — shooting jumpers — isn’t even a really big difference from mid range, where you want your PF taking jumpers. Sure, Tolliver can shoot 3s, but I think Hawks Nation would be pretty happy if they never saw their PF taking 3s again.

MsDee

November 5th, 2012
12:01 am

Yea, we know its only one game w/o Josh but u guys have to admit it, the team looked really really w/o Josh on the court. Yeah, we beat OKC last year w/o Joe or Horford, but this win looked great with ALL KEY PLAYERS (minus Korver) CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR STRENGTHS UNLIKE THE OTHER WIN. Honestly, I can live w/o Josh on the team. If a great offer comes, I say trade him!! I would rather keep Horford, a very smart b-ball IQ PF/C than Josh

Grandad

November 5th, 2012
12:03 am

Zaza has proven he`s a starter at this point, on this team.

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:08 am

Harris was2-5,Williams 5-14, is this why JT shouldn’t play in the 4th quarter.
JeJE, your pretty stupid.as I always knew.

atlwalt404

November 5th, 2012
12:09 am

Ivan showed up big time, teague was explosive if we can get josh to stop taking long jumpers , we got a nice team

paian

November 5th, 2012
12:10 am

wow to think he was about to put korver back in the gamein crunch time,this guy larry drew is hilarious

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:11 am

Larry,your full of sht

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:14 am

The hawk commentators have no balls,kissazzes

Najeh Davenpoop

November 5th, 2012
12:16 am

“Yeah, we beat OKC last year w/o Joe or Horford, but this win looked great with ALL KEY PLAYERS (minus Korver) CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR STRENGTHS UNLIKE THE OTHER WIN. ”

Haha. What does this even mean? Four Hawks scored in double figures in that March win and Zaza had a double-double.

Y’all see what you want to see. There is an entire season’s worth of evidence to show that the Hawks don’t need Al to make the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean he is expendable. Likewise, one game certainly isn’t evidence of Josh being expendable. This team is worse if either one has to miss time.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 5th, 2012
12:17 am

Teague didn’t play in 4th because we held a lead and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

F’ing moron. Stfu

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:18 am

If LD would give JT mins he would become a star & Ivan could become a very good starter.

Grandad

November 5th, 2012
12:20 am

LD with zero initiative or originality;
Lou came here as a 6th man,
and a 6th man he shall be.

Absolutely no chance to rise above being type-cast.

As for our rooks:
What if a really good rookie came here ?
Say:
Durant; DWade; KLove; Rondo; Kawhi Leonard;
would we ever know ?
LD is not gonna play the kids;
so we will never find out.

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:21 am

JeJe your still a moron & putting a grandmaster behind your name shows your a F’axzh.

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:24 am

Any coach who don’t play his rooks but plays overdone vets shouldn’t be coaching in the NBA.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 5th, 2012
12:29 am

“Your” still a moron. Great English

If we played our rookies we would’ve gotten slaughtered. Aren’t you that herb who fights with Grandad? Gtfoh

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 5th, 2012
12:32 am

HORFORD WAS ON FIRE. WHY DIDNT HE JUST PLAY ALL 48 MINUTES? LD IS A MORON

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
12:32 am

Your just a stupid man who speaks out your azz

Melvin

November 5th, 2012
12:34 am

Good win by the Hawks

tommy

November 5th, 2012
12:35 am

you guys just want something to fuss about. The coaching seemed to be pretty good. This isnt little league you dont have to give everybody even minutes. The guys that were in there in the end obviously got the job done so if you are a Hawks fan celebrate the big victory. If you are not a Hawks fan go somewhere else. Lou looks impressive, jury is still out on Harris, Teague has been playing good and Zaza is looking like a starter. He is bringing the hustle and working hard on the boards. Horford stepped it up early tonight and Lou is the new closer. Ivan probably earned some minutes tonight. Good job by everybody including the coaching staff.

Dasher

November 5th, 2012
12:38 am

Apparently, there’s a blog out there that has replaced Hoopinion. Or at least, this guy is doing Hoopinion-style recaps and is doing stuff for ESPN: http://hawkshoop.com/recap-hawks-104-thunder-95/

Ken Strickland

November 5th, 2012
1:08 am

Exactly what has KKorver done during the last 2 gm to cause Drew to consider bringing him back in during crunch time? I can understand bringing Teague back in, but definitely not Korver. What is Drew’s obsession with Korver and Tolliver? After watching Morrow and Ivan’s contributions, is there anyone who thinks we could have won our 1st gm if Drew had played them?

Grandad

November 5th, 2012
1:09 am

Look – I`m glad our Hawks won.

I defended LD all last season when he received unjust criticism.

However, this is a new season, with a new outlook,
with a new vision, and Danny Ferry running the show.
Having said;
LD is not gonna be our Hawks coach long term.
Therefore,
all that he [LD] does grates on my nerves,
understanding what I think Mr Ferry wishes to build with our team.
All that I speak of is about “Winning Culture”
and has little to do with individual players.

My feeling is:
Every day LD is here is one day we`re behind in building said “Culture”.

High-sider

November 5th, 2012
1:09 am

@i_am_soulstar

i_am_soulstar
November 4th, 2012
11:37 pm

NBA LeaguePass having the Hawks only regular season games during the trial period in audio only isn’t very convincing for a Hawks fan like myself to acquire said service.
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