Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 95, Hornets 86 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from New Orleans.

They Hawks were tired as they started their fourth game in five days. Coach Larry Drew admitted to such before Tuesday’s game against the Hornets.

They didn’t wake up until the second half. After sleep-walking through the first 24 minutes, with many defensive lapses, the Hawks erased an early double-digit deficit en route to a 95-86 victory over the Hornets Tuesday at the New Orleans Arena.

The Hawks outscored the Hornets 28-14 in the third quarter to turn around a six-point deficit. They led 72-64 going into the final quarter thanks to a 15-2 run early in the third that changed the momentum. Josh Smith had 10 points in the period to cap an impressive statistical effort of 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals. With his 12th board, he reached the 5,000 rebound career milestone.

“We had a letdown in the first two quarters and I wanted to come out with the energy and effort,” Smith said. “It so happened that I …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 95, Hornets 86 (updated) »

Game thread: Drew concerned Hawks settling for 3-pointers in transition

Vivlamore reporting from New Orleans.

Hawks coach Larry Drew expressed concern with his team’s tendency to settle for 3-point attempts in transition Tuesday.

The good news: The Hawks set a franchise record in Monday’s loss to the Rockets with their fourth straight game of at least 10 3-pointers.

The bad news: Some of the 3-point attempts are coming on the run when Drew would like to see the action move to the front of the rim.

“In transition, we have to run for layups,” Drew said before the Hawks played at the Hornets. “We can’t just run to the 3-point line. We’ve gotten in trouble a little bit with that in the past where we do have an advantage in transition and we run straight to the 3-point line and not really attacking the basket.”

Drew said that was an issue Monday against the Rockets. The Hawks had 23 3-point attempts, making 12.

“We are still trying to find a consistency in that area. We show them tape. We talk about it. We always gravitate to that 3-point line. … That …

Continue reading Game thread: Drew concerned Hawks settling for 3-pointers in transition »

Atlanta Hawks: Rockets 123, Hawks 104 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Houston.

James Harden killed the Hawks again.

The Rockets guard scored a game-high 28 points en route to a 123-104 victory over the Hawks Monday night at the Toyota Center. It was Harden, you’ll remember, who poured in 45 points in a Rockets victory in the Hawks’ season-opener. That’s two games and 73 points.

Harden had 11 third-quarter points as the Hawks tried to come back from a 21-point deficit. It was the 13th consecutive 20-plus point game for Harden, a career-best.

“Not quite the way I wanted to finish 2012,” coach Larry Drew said. “I have to give credit where credit is due. This team is very hard for us to match up against. The fact is that they do such a phenomenal job off the dribble. We have a hard time defending this team off the dribble. They have four guys the starting lineup that can all make 3s, are all good coming off the dribble.”

The Hawks (19-10) had their four-game win streak snapped.

Lou Williams led the Hawks with 21 points. Al …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Rockets 123, Hawks 104 (updated) »

Game thread: Smith back in Hawks lineup (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Houston.

Josh Smith returned to the Hawks lineup Monday against the Rockets. The forward missed the team’s last game, a win over the Pacers Saturday, with a strained right hip flexor.

According to Smith the extra day of rest was beneficial.

“I’m going to play,” Smith said. “It always helps when you have an injury and you can get some extra treatment and extra therapy.”

But is Smith still in pain?

“I’m going to play,” he said. “I’m all right.”

The Hawks didn’t hold a shootaround Monday but Smith warmed up prior to the game and declared himself ready.

“Prior to our last game we wanted him to rest and treat it,” coach Larry Drew said. “It’s feeling better. We wanted to wait and see how he did when he got over to the gym today. He went out and warmed up and he felt pretty good.”

* With Smith back, the Hawks returned to a starting lineup of Jeff Teague and Lou Williams at guard, Kyle Korver and Smith at forward and Al Horford at center.

* Guard Devin Harris …

Continue reading Game thread: Smith back in Hawks lineup (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Harris, Morrow not on trip to Houston

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks will be without guard Devin Harris (sore left foot) and Anthony Morrow ( right hip strain) for Monday’s game against the Rockets. Neither traveled with the team to Houston on Sunday.

Harris will miss his seventh straight game due to the foot injury. Morrow will miss his second straight game with the hip injury. Whether either player will be able to join the team for Tuesday’s game against the Hornets in New Orleans is undetermined.

Josh Smith, who missed Saturday’s game with a strained right hip flexor, made the trip to Houston and could return to the lineup Monday or Tuesday.

- Chris Vivlamore

LATEST NEWS

* Harris, Morrow not on trip to Houston

* Hawks 109, Pacers 100

* Smith out vs. Pacers

* Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94

* Drew acknowledges Smith’s ‘poor shot selection’ late vs. Pistons

* Johnson doubtful vs. Cavs with stomach illness

* Drew speaks to Teague about energy level

* Hawks 126, Pistons 119 (2OT)

* Williams remains in starting lineup

* Is …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Harris, Morrow not on trip to Houston »

Atlanta Hawks: Williams wants to remain a starter

Guard Lou Williams signed with the Hawks as a free agent in July after seven seasons with the 76ers. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Guard Lou Williams signed with the Hawks as a free agent in July after seven seasons with the 76ers. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Vivlamore reporting.

The way Lou Williams has played since being inserted in the Hawks starting lineup would certainly make it difficult for them to send out a unit that doesn’t include the guard.

Williams would like to keep it that way.

Just consider the results. The Hawks have won the past four games since inserting Williams as the starting shooting guard. He has a combined 71 points (26 of 55 shooting, .473), including 12 3-pointers, 26 assists and 20 rebounds. A career-high 12 of those assists came in Saturday’s victory over the Pacers in which Williams recorded his first career points-assists double-double.

“I feel good about our offense,” Williams said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to start. Anything I can do to keep that position.”

Williams, who signed with the Hawks as a free agent this summer, spent much of first seven …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Williams wants to remain a starter »

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 109, Pacers 100 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting. Here is the updated game story from Saturday’s win over the Pacers. I got some really great stuff from Lou Williams on being in the starting lineup. Look for that story tomorrow.

There was no need for a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback this time.

The Hawks jumped out early and cruised to a 109-100 victory over the Pacers Saturday night at Philips Arena.

The Hawks had to erase a big deficit for a victory over the Pacers on Nov. 7. That was not the case on this night – thanks in large part to Zaza Pachulia. The center stepped in for the short-handed Hawks and delivered with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.

“I’m trying to do my best every game,” Pachulia said. “I’m a role player. I’m trying to do my duty. I’m trying to do the things the coaches expect from me and my teammates as well.”

The Hawks (19-9) played without leading scorer Josh Smith, Anthony Morrow and Devin Harris due to injury. Still, they led by as many as 18 points for their fourth …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 109, Pacers 100 (updated) »

Game Thread: Smith out vs. Pacers (updated)

Vivlamore reporting. I’m back from Cleveland and ready for tonight’s game against the Pacers.

The Hawks will be without Josh Smith for tonight’s game against the Pacers due to a strained right hip flexor.

Smith experienced pain in the hip area on Friday and played for most of the game against the Cavaliers. However, he was unable to play in the fourth quarter.

Smith was still not moving well enough to play before Saturday’s game.

“As far as the severity, I don’t know but it’s sore,” coach Larry Drew said. “We finished our walk-through and he’s been having it treated. We wanted to see how he could move out of the floor. He wasn’t moving very well so we decided to shut him down for tonight.”

The Hawks will also be without Devin Harris (sore left foot) for the sixth straight game and Anthony Morrow (right hip strain). Morrow was injured in the first half against the Cavaliers and was unable to continue.

Al Horford (right hip contusion) will start. Ivan Johnson (stomach illness), …

Continue reading Game Thread: Smith out vs. Pacers (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Cleveland.

As the Hawks prepared for the opening tipoff against the Cavaliers, Josh Smith pointed at Jeff Teague. It was a meaningful gesture as if to tell the point guard ‘It starts with you.’

Did it ever.

Teague scored a career-high 27 points, including 14 in the first half, as the Hawks rallied late for a 102-94 victory over the Cavaliers Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Hawks (18-9) scored the final points of the game, after trailing 94-93, to pull out their third straight win. They got a basket by Teague, a basket and two free throws from Al Horford and a 3-pointer from Kyle Korver to seal the hard-fought victory.

Smith and Teague revealed little about what is a pre-game ritual.

“He always says ‘C’mon, energy, effort,’” Teague said. “That’s our thing.”

Smith would not give details. However, he didn’t hesitate to state the importance of Teague.

“It’s something that we have going,” Smith said. “It’s between me and him. As he goes, in all …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 102, Cavaliers 94 (updated) »

Game thread: Drew, Smith talk after ‘poor shot selection’ late vs. Pistons (updated)

UPDATES: Ivan Johnson is definitely out tonight. He remained at the team hotel. … Hawks will start Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford. “In the last couple of games we’ve played in going with this lineup it’s been good for us,” coach Larry Drew said. “I think with both Teague and Williams in the lineup it gives us speed, it gives us the ability to play a little faster. … I think it’s important on the road to dictate the tempo of the game and when it’s time to run we have to get out and fly.” … Drew said there is a “probability” he will save DeShawn Stevenson for tomorrow night’s game against the Pacers.

Vivlamore reporting.

Hawks coach Larry Drew acknowledged Josh Smith’s late-game shooting issues against the Pistons Wednesday as “poor shot selection” and said the two have spoken and are ready to move on.

Despite finishing with 31 points, Smith combined to score only one point in the fourth quarter and both overtimes. He was 13-of-18 shooting …

Continue reading Game thread: Drew, Smith talk after ‘poor shot selection’ late vs. Pistons (updated) »