Despite having one of their worst offensive games of the season, the Atlanta Hawks recorded their first road win of the year earlier this week.
They look to earn a second straight victory on the road Saturday when they visit the team with the worst record in the NBA - the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Joe Johnson came up big in Atlanta's last game, a 82-79 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday in the opener of a three-game road trip. Johnson led all scorers with 22 points to give the Hawks their first win in 18 road games. Four of those losses came this season, with three by a margin of fewer than 10 points.
"It was past due," said Johnson, who is averaging 22.5 points per game this season.
Atlanta shot a season-low 35.1 percent from the field in the win, but the Hawks used their defense to stay within 10 points entering the fourth quarter. Atlanta then outscored Miami 26-13 in the final quarter after opening on a 15-3 run.
Josh Smith had 16 points, 11 rebounds and a key block on Dwyane Wade's potential game-tying layup with 3.9 seconds left, while Marvin Williams added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought our defense was solid even though we couldn't score," coach Mike Woodson said. "We just kept it close and that's all you want to do on the road, give yourself an opportunity to win."
Wednesday's win snapped an overall three-game losing streak for the Hawks, who close out the road trip on Tuesday against the struggling Chicago Bulls.
Atlanta (4-7) snapped an eight-game losing streak in Minneapolis with a 105-88 victory on Jan. 17 behind 29 points from Joe Johnson. Smith had 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting as the Hawks swept the season series from the Timberwolves with a 99-93 win on March 10.
They face a Minnesota (1-9) team that has lost four straight, including a 99-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
The Timberwolves led 87-84 with 2:59 left, but Denver went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. Antoine Walker came off the bench to pace Minnesota with 24 points while Ryan Gomes had 18.
"We have to finish games," Walker said. "We play well for 42, 43 minutes and then we have a lull somewhere in there. We have to find a way to win those games. We are much better than a 1-9 team. We have to keep fighting."
The Timberwolves shot a season-low 38.6 percent from the field, but stayed competitive thanks to a season-high 10 3-pointers. They committed 20 turnovers, however, and went 15-of-24 at the free throw line while Denver went 36-of-41 from the line.
Rashad McCants had another rough game. The team's second leading scorer at 15.0 points, McCants was held to five on Friday. The third-year guard is averaging 7.7 in his last three games.
"I have to give my team more leadership," he said. "I'm very accountable for these losses."
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