The Atlanta Hawks are hoping that their home winning streak is not a casualty of "Snowacolypse 2011." Jamal Crawford and the red-hot Hawks hope to extend their stretch of dominance to 11 when they take on the Houston Rockets at Philips Arena in a game that's certainly going to be overshadowed by a bigger game across the street at the Dome.
Of course, we're talking about that little football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers. That one kicks off at 8:00 p.m. The Hawks start at 7:00 p.m. Atlanta's basketball team ideally wanted to move the game to a mid-afternoon tip, to complement the clash at the Dome, but the Rockets played on Friday night in Houston. Under league rules, that made it nearly impossible to move the start time.
Hawks fans who have tickets to that game are encouraged to arrive early. The combination of the Falcons game, the Boat Show and the residual effects of the snowstorm will make traffic miserable on Saturday. As a result, the Hawks are opening Philips Arena at 5:30 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than they normally do for a 7:00 p.m. game.
Atlanta enters this one en fuego, winning six straight and 10 straight at the Bulb. About the only thing that has slowed down the Hawks this week is the weather. Atlanta's quest to extend its home streak against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday was scrubbed because of the snowstorm that wreaked havoc around the metropolitan area.
The Hawks were able to escape the bad weather and fly north for the winter, posting a 104-101 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. Jamal Crawford posted a season-high 36 points off the bench and Mike Bibby drained a game-winning 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left to give Atlanta its ninth win in 11 games over Toronto.
Meanwhile, the Yao Ming-less Rockets are in a bit of funk. They head to Atlanta after blowing a 16 point lead in their 110-105 overtime loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday. The Rockets fizzled down the stretch allowing 14 straight Hornets points before New Orleans caught Houston in the game's final minute to send it to overtime.
Kyle Lowry tied a season high with 28 points and Kevin Martin poured in 26 for the Rockets, who have lost seven of their last eight games.