Joe Johnson scored 32 points in 34 minutes as the Hawks bounced back from an embarrassing loss yesterday at home to the New Orleans Hornets. After trailing 49-44 at the half, Atlanta outscored Charlotte 59-38 in the second half to capture their 15th road win of the season.
After allowing Charlotte to shoot 50% in the first half, the Hawks clamped down defensively in the second limiting D.J. Augustine's room to drive into the paint and forced the Bobcats into some long jump shots. As the Hawks defense picked up it keyed some easy baskets for its offense scoring fourteen points off of Charlotte's six turnovers on the night.
Johnson finished the game with 32 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists on the night. He hit on 12-18 shots while connecting on 3-4 three point attempts. He scored 16 of his 32 points in the second half after leaving late in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury. Josh Smith scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds after sitting out a large part of the third quarter due to foul trouble. Mike Bibby finished with 14 points and a team high eight rebounds. Jamal Crawford scored 14 points off the bench for the Hawks.
Atlanta used a 19-8 run over the last 5:21 seconds of the third quarter to seize control of the game.
D.J. Augustine scored 20 points for the Bobcats but wasn't nearly the factor in the second half that he was in the first. Atlanta's defense held Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace to 17 combined points on 5 for 23 shooting.
Atlanta was without the services of Al Horford and Marvin Williams who remained in Atlanta while recovering from injury. The Hawks were also without Josh Powell tonight after he was suspended for one game for conduct detrimental to the team following last night's loss to New Orleans.
The Hawks now get an opportunity to heal up as they will not return to the court until next Wednesday when they travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks.