The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 92-75 in both teams last tune-up before the regular season begins this weekend. The Hawks used a strong third quarter to put some distance between themselves and the Bobcats.
Josh Smith dropped a reported 30 pounds during the offseason and looks ready for the season to begin finishing with a game-high 21 points on 10-15 shooting. Smith used his quickness to finish Atlanta's break and to sneak in for some key offensive rebounds. Ivan Johnson came off the bench to score 15 points and grab six rebounds as he tried to make his case for one of the final roster spots with the club. Joe Johnson finished with 12 points but was just 3 for 11 from the field. Vladimir Radmanovic tossed in 11 points.
Starting point guard Jeff Teague sat out the game with a sprained ankle that he suffered in practice on Wednesday. Teague is expected to return for the regular season opener. Thursday's game was the final opportunity for players like Donald Sloan and Brad Wanamaker to make an impression on the Hawks for one of the final roster spots with the club. Ivan Johnson may have stolen the show with two solid performances in both preseason games.
Corey Maggette led the way for the Bobcats with 18 points and five rebounds. D.J. Augustin and Matt Carroll each finished with nine points. Bismack Biyombo made his Bobcats debut playing 16 minutes and finishing with one point and two rebounds. Biyombo did turn in to emphatic blocked shots in the game. Fellow rookie Kemba Walker finished with eight points on 4-11 shooting.
The Hawks will open the 2011-2012 regular season on Tuesday, December 27 in New Jersey against the Nets. Atlanta's home opener will be the next night against the Washington Wizards.
For more on the Atlanta Hawks and the NBA Preseason be sure to check out Peachtree Hoops. For more on the Charlotte Bobcats, check out Rufus On Fire.