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NBA Standings, Southeast Division: Despite Bad Week Hawks Remain Atop Division

Four weeks in and the Atlanta Hawks are showing that they can withstand the Heat and a little bit of Magic, too. The upstart Hawks remain perched atop the Southeast Division standings entering play on Thursday, tied with the Orlando Magic for first place in the division. They are also one-half game ahead of the Miami Heat, who are struggling to find the right balance and chemistry between superstars Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

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The Hawks used their depth to survive a lost week, where they dropped four in a row after winning six straight to start the season. Atlanta got back to its winning ways by dispatching of the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves before defeating the Indiana Pacers. On a night when Joe Johnson was struggling, Josh Smith had his best game of the year, posting 25 points, grabbing eight boards and swatting seven shots in the win.

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Atlanta is enjoying three days off after the win over the Pacers before the degree of difficulty in their schedule rachets up a notch. The Hawks will face the Mark Cuban Dallas Mavericks sideshow at Philips Arena on Saturday night before the Boston Celtics come to town for a Monday night showdown.

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Things should get easier for Atlanta after that, as the Hawks take on the New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors to end the first full month of basketball.

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Southeast Standings

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W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta84.6660Won 2
Orlando73.7000Won 2
Miami74.6360.5Won 2
Charlotte47.3633.5Won 1
Washington37.3004Lost 1
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(updated 11.18.2010 at 4:04 PM PST)

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.