The Atlanta Hawks shifted into an extra gear midway through the second quarter. As a result, they roared ahead of the Houston Rockets.
Joe Johnson posted 13 points and Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford added 11 each to stake the Hawks to a 63-54 lead over the Rockets at the break at the Toyota
Marvin Williams and Jeff Teague netted eight each for Atlanta, which posted 40 points in the second quarter and matched a season-high with 63 first half points.
The Hawks can secure the No. 5 spot in the playoffs with a win.
Atlanta shot 58-percent (23-for-40) in the first half en route to building a 13 point lead. Houston pushed back with four points to wind down the quarter to cut the deficit back to single-digits.
The Hawks are getting it done with energy and a bit of an inside presence. They are also sharing the basketball. They have 12 assists on 23 field goals.
Kevin Martin has 16 points and Kyle Lowry and Chuck Hayes 10 each for the Rockets, who are shooting 54-percent from the field.
The mystery as to why Smith and Johnson are wearing green headbands has been solved. According to my colleague Michael Cunningham at the AJC, they are wearing them for the NBA's Green Week. If you've watched closely, the Hawks players are also in Green Week t-shirts while on the bench.
Atlanta needs to keep up the intensity and perhaps pick things up a bit on defense if they want to grab their fifth straight win.