The Atlanta Hawks got big first halves from Josh Smith and Joe Johnson to race out to a 57-47 lead over the Charlotte Bobcats at halftime. The Hawks are playing their first game since it was announced that Al Horford would miss 3-4 months with a torn pectoral muscle.
The Bobcats hung tough for much of the first half before a late Hawks surge extended the lead to 10 points. Josh Smith leads the way with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Joe Johnson scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter. Johnson also has two rebounds and four assists and exploited Paul Silas' decision to have Tyrus Thomas matched up with him.
Byron Mullens got his first start for the Bobcats in the game and leads Charlotte with 12 points. Tyrus Thomas has nine points and Gerald Henderson eight for the Bobcats.
Charlotte actually out shot Atlanta in the first half 51 percent to 47 percent. Atlanta took advantage of a 26-16 rebounding advantage in the first half including a 11-2 advantage on the offensive glass.