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Nets At Hawks: Atlanta Opens With 19-2 Run, Leads 33-15 Through One Quarter

The New Jersey Nets are a terrible basketball team without Deron Williams.

The Atlanta Hawks scored 19 of the game's first 21 points to take a 32-15 lead into the second quarter at Philips Arena.

Josh Smith lead the way for Atlanta, posting 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field. Many of the buckets have come from inside -- a place where Atlanta has been allergic to shooting the basketball from in recent games.

But then the lowly Nets came to town. New Jersey connected on the first shot of the game before missing nine straight from the field. The Hawks capitalized, rattling off 19 unanswered points before Sasha Vujacic drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 19-14.

Atlanta sailed from there.

How bad did things get for New Jersey? Josh Smith stole the ball and ran down the court. Vujacic inexplicably stopped running play as Smith went in for the easy jam to pots Atlanta to a 23-7 lead.

Yes, folks. This one has the look and feel of a pickup game at Philips Arena -- with New Jersey playing the role of the Hawks for a change. It's the Nets that are taking ill-advised jumpers instead of going inside. Atlanta on the other hand is abusing the post.

The difference is obvious. New Jersey shot 35-percent (7-for-20) in the first quarter, while Atlanta fired at a 64-percent (14-for-22 clip).

Joe Johnson had eight points and Al Horford and Kirk Hinrich six each for Atlanta, which can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

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