Harrington, Johnson Fly Hawks Past Knicks
Atlanta 122, New York 111
ATLANTA, Dec. 16 (Ticker) -- Joe Johnson and Al Harrington were nearly perfect from long range.
Johnson scored a career-high 36 points and Harrington tied a season-high with 35 as the Atlanta Hawks shot 75 percent from 3-point range in a 122-111 victory over the New York Knicks, who have lost five straight contests.
"The last four games have been a big difference," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson, whose team drop 16 of its first 18 games this season. "We got down in the Philly game early and late in the game and also fell back in the San Antonio game, but we came back and now they believe they can win."
Johnson and Harrington, who both entered the game shooting below 30 percent from the arc, went 4-of-4 behind the 3-point line and tallied 24 points apiece in the first half, when Atlanta scored a season-high 71 points and opened a nine-point lead.
"(Johnson) got it going and I was able to follow up a little bit," Harrington said. "Last game I was getting open threes, and tonight I was, too. If they leave it open, I'm going to shoot."
"Joe and Al went 8-for-8 (from the arc) in the first half, which hurt us," Knicks coach Larry Brown said. "I've been in games where teams make shots and there's nothing you can do about it. And when you have trouble guarding the perimeter, you'll have nights like this."
Johnson finished 6-of-7 from 3-point range and Harrington 6-of-6.
"In practice I've been working on (3-point shooting)," Johnson said. "I was a pretty good 3-point shooter last year. I'm glad we got off to a great start."
Atlanta scored 39 points in the first quarter, going 5-of-5 from long range and 14-of-20 overall. For the half, the Hawks shot 68 percent (26-of-38) but allowed the Knicks to shoot 56 percent (25-of-45).
Josh Smith blocked eight shots, which included a spectacular second-quarter rejection of Quentin Richardson's layup off the glass and into the stands.
Salim Stoudamire added 13 points off the bench, fellow rookie Marvin Williams added nine and Josh Childress eight for the Hawks, who scored the first seven points and never trailed.
"Al and Joe gave us a big lift and it gave us momentum," Smith said. "We were up 7-0 and never looked back."
New York trailed just 29-28 with 2:05 remaining in the first quarter after Qyntel Woods connected on two free throws. However, Atlanta scored 10 of the last 13 points of the period and took control early in the second quarter.
After Nate Robinson connected on a turnaround jumper with 8:53 in the second period to cut the deficit to 44-40, the Hawks went on a 23-11 run. Harrington scored nine points in the period.
New York closed to 71-66 on a jumper by rookie Channing Frye with 9:53 left in the third quarter before Atlanta scored 20 of the next 28 points.
"Nobody thought they would shoot this good," Knicks guard Jamal Crawford said. "It wasn't just one guy we could key on because it was everybody tonight."
Crawford made 4-of-4 3-pointers and scored 23 points and Stephon Marbury had 16 of his 21 in the first quarter for New York, which has dropped 32 of 40 road games dating back to last season.