Notebook: Hawks 113, Bobcats 90

Posted Dec 13, 2012 10:47 PM

By Matt Winkeljohn, for

THE FACTS: Devin Harris scored a season-high 20 points off the bench, and the Hawks obliterated the reeling Bobcats 113-90 Thursday night in a game that went haywire quickly.

Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap called his first timeout just 1:47 into the game, but that did little to slow Atlanta (14-6) as the host Hawks shot lights out (43-for-75, 57.3 percent) on the way to tying the Heat for best record in the Southeast with a season high in points scored.

Atlanta shot 62.5 percent through the first three quarters (35-for-56, and 13-for-24 on 3-pointers) for a 91-74 lead after leading by as many as 28. The Hawks finished with six players combining to make a season-high 14 treys.

Josh Smith added 18 points for Atlanta, and Ivan Johnson pitched in 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds off the bench while the Hawks won for the 11th time in 13 games. Atlanta's subs scored 56 points, and Lou Williams had 13 points and a career high-tying nine assists in a reserve role.

The Hawks' seventh straight win over the Bobcats was also Charlotte's 10th straight overall loss since a surprising 7-5 start. As with the previous nine losses, the Bobcats' defense was indefensible.

Charlotte (7-15) has allowed 100 or more points in nine of the 10 straight losses, giving up an average of 108.2 points in that span.

Atlanta led 60-43 at halftime after shooting 61.1 percent in the first quarter while going 4-for-9 on 3-pointers, and 57.9 percent in the second quarter on 5-for-7 3-point shooting. Atlanta's 59.5 percent shooting mark over the first two quarters was a season's best for a half.

The Hawks had 28 assists overall.

Charlotte also got big points (50) from the bench. Reserves Gerald Henderson (17 points) and Ramon Sessions (16) paced the Bobcats, and Kemba Walker led the starters with 13.

QUOTABLE: "I think we were able to keep executing. We didn't get complacent. I think normally when we get big leads, we tend to get complacent a little bit. Tonight, we were able to keep our foot on the gas."
-- Josh Smith.

THE STATS: +7: All tempo was set in the first quarter, when the Hawks outscored the Bobcats 9-2 in fast break points on the way to a 30-19 lead. By halftime, Atlanta had an 18-6 edge in fast break points, and a 20-8 margin in the paint.

TURNING POINT: Charlotte rookie Jeff Taylor made a 3-pointer on the Bobcats' second possession for a 3-2 lead, but the Hawks scored the next eight points -- on three straight layups and two free throws -- for a 10-3 lead that was never threatened.

QUOTABLE II: "The first half was probably the best we've played all year . . . I challenged the guys to come out in the third quarter, and I want to pay special attention to a guy who has really responded. Ivan Johnson . . . had an impact on the game; you felt his presence. He did a phenomenal job coming off the bench."
-- Hawks coach Larry Drew.

HOT: Harris surpassed his season high of 15 points in the first half with 16. He had 11 in the second quarter on 4-for-5 shooting, including 2-for-3 from distance. . . . Williams had six assists in the second quarter, when Atlanta had nine on 11 made shots. . . . . . . After not playing in three of the previous four games because of the coach's decision, Atlanta's Ivan Johnson shot 5-for-5 in the second half after going 0-for-3 in the first half.

NOT: Charlotte's Byron Mullens missed all seven of his shots in the first half, when the Bobcats were 14-for-39. He was 0-for-5 in the first quarter, when Charlotte was 6-for-20. Mullen made his only shot in the second half.

ROOKIE REPORT: Hawks guard John Jenkins matched his a season-high with five points in 4:24 off the bench on 2-for-3 shooting. In his limited chances, the former Vanderbilt star has shown quite a shooting touch. He made his first NBA trey. Six Hawks made at least one.

NOTABLE: Kyle Korver's return to the starting lineup went swimmingly for the Hawks. He missed five straight games because of back spasms and his wife giving birth to their first child last Wednesday (Kyra Elyse Korver), and then played off the bench in a win Wednesday in Orlando. He scored 13 Thursday on 5-for-7 shooting with 10 points coming in the first half. . . . Hawks center Al Horford's double-double streak ended at seven games. He had 11 points and three rebounds while playing 30:47. He was the only Atlanta player to log 30 minutes. . . . Forward Jeff Adrien, who was called up by Charlotte from Rio Grande of the D-League last week, played for the first time. He had three rebounds.

UP NEXT: For the Bobcats, Saturday vs. Magic, Tuesday @ Lakers, Wednesday @ Suns. For the Hawks, Saturday vs. Warriors, Tuesday @ Wizards, Wednesday vs. Thunder.