Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 104, Wizards 95 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks didn’t need a last-second 3-pointer to beat the lowly Wizards this time.

Atlanta built an 18 point lead in the third quarter but still had to hold off a late rally en route to a 104-95 victory over Washington Friday night. The win comes two weeks after the Hawks needed a last shot to defeat the then-winless Wizards at home.

The Hawks (11-5), third in the Eastern Conference, won for the eighth time in the past nine games. They have beaten the Wizards five straight games and 10 straight at Philips Arena.

The Wizards (2-14) are winless on the road, dropping all eight contests.

After watching two fourth-quarter leads slip away in their last two games, one a win and one a loss, the Hawks wanted to show a killer instinct against an inferior opponent.

They did – but barely.

The Hawks built the 18-point lead as DeShawn Stevenson hit a pair of 3-pointers early in third period. The Wizards didn’t go away without a fight. They chipped away and cut the lead to two points in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks used a 13-2 run, started with less than four minutes left, to regain the double-digit lead for the win.

“We have to develop a killer instinct,” coach Larry Drew said. “We had a team on the ropes and clearly had the momentum. We just have to develop that killer instinct. Tonight we didn’t have it. We didn’t do it. I’ve seen it before. I’ve seen us get into games and we have stretches where we really play well, we get leads and we have a lapse. We had one tonight.

“It’s something that you develop and something that doesn’t come over night. You eventually develop. You have to go through those type situations to understand it. I love being in that position where we do get big leads and create some separation. I’d rather have that problem than the other way around.”

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 23 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Al Horford added 14 points and 14 rebounds, his fourth straight game with a double-double. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from their other starters in Jeff Teague (19), Stevenson (15) and Devin Harris (15).

Harris said the issue was more about the mistakes the Hawks are making.

“We just have to develop that killer instinct,” Harris said. “This is a different team. Sometime it takes a little while. Hopefully it won’t cost us any more games before we can figure it out. … You have to go through it a couple times and learn from your mistakes. In the third quarter we had them on the ropes. We have to understand that at that point we have to turn it up a little bit more.”

The Wizards were led by Kevin Seraphin with 19 points and Bradley Beal with 18 points.

The Hawks led by as many as 14 points in the first half. The Wizards cut the lead to six points, 46-40, late in the second quarter. However, Stevenson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Teague made a layup as the Hawks re-took a double-digit lead, 54-41, headed into intermission.

“I’ve got to give it up to Teague and Harris,” Stevenson said. “I’m in the right spots. They know what spots I like to shoot from. I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now and just shooting the ball.”

A 12-2 first-quarter run broke the game open early for the Hawks. They used another 10-0 run late in the opening stanza to lead by 14 points. The Wizards finished the opening quarter by shooting just 1 of 8 from the floor.

The Hawks held a 47-32 rebounding advantage, a key statistic for the unit.

It’s early in the season but Stevenson said the Hawks must learn to finish off opponents.

“In the third quarter we get lackadaisical, take bad shots and turn the ball over,” he said. “We have to keep that killer instinct because in the playoffs it’s like that. … It’s a good position (with big leads) but at the same time you don’t want it to come back in a playoff situation and it bite us in the butt.”

The Hawks will be tested as they start a three-game road trip Saturday against the Grizzlies, the top team in the Western Conference. That is followed by a game against the Heat, with the second best record in the Eastern Conference.

“All in all we’ve had a great homestand,” Smith said. “That was very important. Now, we have to go out on the road and try to duplicate what we did at home.”

- Chris Vivlamore

90 comments Add your comment

Jae Evolution

December 7th, 2012
9:58 pm

Joakim Noah had 5 less rebounds than the Pistons…as a whole team.

Simpson

December 7th, 2012
10:02 pm

Let’s go Hawks!

ESPN

December 7th, 2012
10:06 pm

http://espn.go.com/nba/conversation?gameId=400277993

Join ESPN and be a Hawks supporter on the ESPN game threads!

JJ fan

December 7th, 2012
10:07 pm

ESPN gamecast, showed John Jenkins in for the end of the game. Why no mention of him being back?

Jae Evolution

December 7th, 2012
10:19 pm

This was pretty much a must-win because our next two at Memphis and Miami are far from guranteed.

doc

December 7th, 2012
10:22 pm

Jamaaliver

December 7th, 2012
10:24 pm

I would trade Josh Smith for Joakim Noah in a heartbeat.

I MUS WRITE

December 7th, 2012
10:26 pm

I think im going to go help sumbodys daughter with that tuition. Strokers? Onyx? ……Life is full of tuff decisions.

I MUS WRITE

December 7th, 2012
10:30 pm

O Yeah Go Hawks!!! Jamaaliver arm chair GM is where you need to be.
Josh >>>Noah…..Josh<<<<<<< L Aldridge

Young Scooter

December 7th, 2012
10:33 pm

Just left Columbia…listened to the game on the radio while on I-20 headed back to Atlanta. Good win. Go Hawks!

keith

December 7th, 2012
10:33 pm

Jamaaliver
December 7th, 2012
10:24 pm

I would trade Josh Smith for Joakim Noah in a heartbeat.

Noah and Al, reunited and it feels so good! 2-Time NCAA Champions!!

soullrenaissance

December 7th, 2012
10:37 pm

We are half a game out of 1st place in the division. MIAMI, were coming for you (in Mike Tyson voice)

JJ fan

December 7th, 2012
10:38 pm

thanks, doc.

doc

December 7th, 2012
10:40 pm

listening to kobe on espn interview for the second time tonight, saying he essentially is getting d12 to put on his big boys pants like he is gasol. now described as serious “part of the time” by announcer and they are going to rub each other the wrong way. and saying d12 knew and wanted what he was getting into maybe to say it is too tough for him to meet such a standard.

again, say josh is more the man than d12 is. svg may have been the best thing for d12 and that may have been his high point until he makes a mental shift. kobe has a sense of urgency, d12 thinks he needs to be somewhere else maybe. sound familiar?

Trinidad James

December 7th, 2012
10:40 pm

had no idea Stevenson would be this good for us.

Whoo!

doc

December 7th, 2012
10:41 pm

no prob jj fan and i think he is going to be a good one.

Rusty

December 7th, 2012
10:45 pm

What happened ,did Ferry call LD ask LD ,what are you doing to JT he hasn’t been playing well,you need to play him big minutes & you need to get out of his face & let him play his game.LD left his office & said to himself he didn’t say I have to play Ivan,he didn’t mention him,ha ha.

BigDawg

December 7th, 2012
10:45 pm

What an amazing run so far, without ISO Joe and Marvin, great job by our GM and Coach!!

Slimjr

December 7th, 2012
10:50 pm

Westbrook with 27 and 5 dimes at the half against the Lakers? Wow!

lewis

December 7th, 2012
10:53 pm

i hate russell westbreezy

Trinidad James

December 7th, 2012
10:58 pm

Slimjr
December 7th, 2012
10:50 pm

Westbrook with 27 and 5 dimes at the half against the Lakers? Wow!
_______________________

Whoo!

Slimjr

December 7th, 2012
11:02 pm

haha@lewis

westbreezy with 5 [3-balls]!

Lakers would have been better off keeping Bernie Bickerstaff as the interim coach..

Mike D’Antoni is turning into a disaster hire! Sorta like what happen with the Knicks under his tutelage….hmmm

soullrenaissance

December 7th, 2012
11:04 pm

I agree Slimjr – if the Lakers could not pull Phil Jackson back in it, then they should have left well enough alone. Bad hire D’Antoni never won the big one – what’s the freaking obession with his brand?

O'Brien

December 7th, 2012
11:15 pm

Did not see the game, but good win for the Hawks. We must continue to beat up on these bad teams, because we will have a tough time when the schedule toughens.

We outrebounded the Wizards, but Hawks must get better at their FT shooting. We were 12-19 (63%) from the stripe. And Josh and Al are our 2 worst FT shooters.

O'Brien

December 7th, 2012
11:19 pm

aS bad as the Lakers are right now, lets see how they look when Nash and Gasol comes back.

I will say…I hope things fall apart, and Kobe calls out D12, which being the cry baby he is…D12 may want to test free agency (although the Mavs may be an attractive option).

doc

December 7th, 2012
11:31 pm

marvin for 14 as the jazz blow up for 131 tonight. no crying yet about his loss nor jj’s.

6 games above 500. is this the high mark for the team? if we finish the season at 6 games ove then that would be huge in my eyes and what i hoped for at best.

doc

December 7th, 2012
11:31 pm

d12 17/14 and his team is down by 15.

Smokey

December 8th, 2012
12:09 am

Dsteve had a huge game on both ends and is spot on in his comments. We had mental lapses in the third that gave them life when we could of choked em out. Also in the fourth I think we had some stagnant offensive possessions and were lucky Osh found that J tonight. Against real teams we cant do that and expect to keep winning.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 8th, 2012
1:09 am

5 games in 7 nights. LD gotta play his bench. I wanna see Jenkins tomorrow.

Grandad

December 8th, 2012
1:37 am

“In the third quarter we get lackadaisical,
take bad shots and turn the ball over,”
-DSteve-
__________________________________

LD preaches “Killer Instinct”
__________________________________

Allright – DSteve gets it.

LD – it`s about a mind trick / or somethin`

The so called `kllr Instnct’ is nothing more than:
“doing the right thing every time”
-&-
having the mentality of;
“always winning the next play every time”
____________________________________________

I just said what DSteve said … in a different way.

There is NO mind trick;
where a team all of a sudden get`s a burst of energy,
then proceeds to blow away the opponent.

No;
a team simply refuses to get lazy, or lackadaisical,
continues to diplay fundamentals and play within the Team.

It`s really that simple.

As I said – D-Steve gets it !

Sameba

December 8th, 2012
1:56 am

I think when the Hawks were ahead by 18 points LD should play Ivan & Jenkins. I believe they would play in full strenght and would not let the team get “lackadaisical”…

ag

December 8th, 2012
4:42 am

No Stevenson tonight. No Korver. May be a Jenkins siting, but I doubt it.

MoreSupportfromAJC

December 8th, 2012
5:55 am

The Hawks are Ranked #3 in The East!!! ….and they are Rarely mentioned on the front web page in the AJC??? I have to always scroll to the Hawks tab to find info on the Hawks!! Where’s the Respect for this team?? Same thing on NBA.com !!! C’mon support the Hawks!!!

ag

December 8th, 2012
6:00 am

I agree the city needs to support this team. These next two games are very important. Two wins and certainly people will notice. Two losses, people will notice to.

LD really may have made a mistake by starting Stevenson last night. He does not play him back to back. I have no idea who is going to check Rudy Gay. I would assume the Hawks will start with the big lineup.

Without Stevenson, we will see a lot of Morrow and Ivan. The only way we see Jenkins is if one of our players gets in foul trouble.

mr smith the hawks fan

December 8th, 2012
6:37 am

Good win by the boys tonight but like national media says the Hawks don’t have a go to man at the end of the night which unlike tonight (because they went to Josh in the 4th) will cost them games. They need to go with Josh and his unorthidox offencive game at the end (unless somebody is crazy hot at end of games) for better or worse because like it or not josh haters, he is the best overall player on the team and they can only go as far as he takes us. I think Josh will come back and his game will go to another lvl if he is given the ball with the team down with less than a min and LD tells him “go win it for us” until that happens at a home game we will have no chance moving forward

Ps Josh I’m not a hater of ur set shot but don’t shoot that long 2 … shot a 3 or drive long 2’s are just dumb shots when u hit 3 at the same clip. Just hang behind the line and dribble drive or shot from there. That is so annoying when u hit or miss that dumb shot. And LD should have told you that by now college 3’s count for 2 in the NBA

ECF or Bust

December 8th, 2012
6:53 am

you didn’t build that!

Nate ArchiBALL

December 8th, 2012
7:51 am

Crazy stat – DeShawn Stevenson has made 32 baskets this season …..28 of them have been threes

Just Joe

December 8th, 2012
8:10 am

Last year, Stevenson attempted 172 shots, 145 were 3’s. It’s just who he is at this point. He’s really a great role player to have on the bench. He hustles. He defends. He camps out at the 3-pt line, which provides spacing for the team & limits his turnovers. He seems to be a good locker room presence.

It’s just unfortunate that we have to force him in to the starting SF role and get 26+ minutes a night from him. He’s likely to break down at that rate. Even on the championship Mavs he avgd just 16 minutes a game.

Just Joe

December 8th, 2012
8:15 am

Bad night for Damion James last night. 2 pts, 4 Rebs, 4 fouls, 4 turnovers, -17 in 17 minutes.

Mike Scott played 29 minutes and had 14 pts on 11 shots, 4 Rebs, 3 assists and no turnovers, but was -26 for the game.

Bakersfield lost big of course.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

December 8th, 2012
8:27 am

Joe Johnson took advantage of the Warriors’ poor defensive backcourt and scored a season-high 32 points on 12-of-23 shooting (including four threes) with five rebounds, one assist, and one block in the Nets’ 109-102 loss on Friday.
***

What did our backcourt do against GS?

Joey

December 8th, 2012
8:40 am

doc (10:40), I never thought Kobe would put up with d12’s grinning, don’t care attitude. A guy who is the epitome of mental toughness cares little for a teammate who has none.

doc

December 8th, 2012
9:08 am

d12 is the stern system gone wrong. he was pampered by the refs and had his way before he earned it and it is going to be hard for him to get it back. grinder, he is not. maybe he is losing the respect of his peers as well, starting with kobe.

hope that gatsby nash gets back soon and is in fine form to pull this thing together. it could get f’ugly faster than fast if not.

HawkFan

December 8th, 2012
9:26 am

Hawks 11-5. Really good start. Let’s go shock Memphis and rule South Beach.

jhan

December 8th, 2012
9:29 am

I do like that D’Antoni keeps him in at the end despite his horrid free throw %. D’Antoni says if he’s a franchise player he needs to finish out games. Imagine that – a coach holding his star player accountable! Would be nice if the parents in our society would do the same.

ag

December 8th, 2012
9:33 am

If they are waiting for Nash, I just don’t know. I think the Lakers need to try to get Amare. He works a lot better in the system than Gasol.

Again, toughest matchup so far this season. This is a very important game. Wins tonight and Monday will get people talking about us.

JT0 is being more aggresive. He took 22 shots. Also, in games JT0 played 30+ minutes, the Hawks are 10-1 this season.

Smokey

December 8th, 2012
9:59 am

I don’t care about D12 and I hope that whole situation blows up. Not sure why anyone would want to see that team do well unless they are closet Laker fans?
Big game for Hawks, will be interesting to see how we stack up against Memphis. Will LD start big lineup with more Ivan?

hfc95

December 8th, 2012
10:06 am

Not much to say after last night, we gave up some leads but got them back. Great game, I am surprised Ivan didnt get any PT though.
If we can get 10+ from all starters nightly we will be a very good team, balanced scoring is a great threat because you can’t stop just one guy when everyone can score.

I’ll be watching this game along with the Benson Henderson fight live on FOX, Benson vs Diaz is a straight up BRAWL! Benson wins and the Hawks win tonight.

hfc95

December 8th, 2012
10:10 am

Oh yes and d12…

If he cant find the intensity and see that he has a chance to win an NBA championship with Kobe, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol then I do not want that care free attitude to sign with the hawks in the off-season if LA boots him out.
Your a professional NBA player and all he seems to care about is personal accolades and trying to make Dwight Howard a global brand, he doesnt realize he is an NBA player first and if he wins championships he will get more fame that way than commercials or whatever else he pursues.

jojo

December 8th, 2012
10:31 am

great win by the Hawks all you people that want josh smith traded are stupid he and horford are the faces of this franchise stevenson has been a great pick up and i love teagues development and harris solid Bring on the Grizzles GO HAWKS!

Ray

December 8th, 2012
10:35 am

Really I wouldn’t mind D12 being here first it brings more fans and number two finally make people shut up about the center issue.

I know we all say we don’t want D12 here, but if he does come here same people will be like D12 the man and etc. etc.

Look at what just happened with Ivan Johnson told us he’s a trouble maker over in China they kicked him out now this guy got a nickname and key to the city in Atlanta just saying.