it was a stark contrast from Tuesday night's 76-74 loss to the Chicago Bulls as Atlanta jumped out to a 12-1 advantage and for the most part never took their foot off the gas. Despite the game being the third in three nights for the Hawks, they looked much fresher than the Bulls with Tuesday's game perhaps serving as motivation for the club.
"When we played at Houston (a Dec. 31 loss), they were playing their third in three nights and they played with an enormous amount of energy . . . and tonight, we were very similar. Our guys came out from the very beginning and played with a lot of emotion. We played like a team that might have been playing on its first night. We just took it to them. For the most part, we started with energy, and never let up."
Josh Smith scored a season-high 25 points while Joe Johnson added 17 in the win. Atlanta's defense helped hold Derrick Rose to just eight points, six assists and five turnovers with a solid team effort defensively.
"We did a good team job on him defensively in crowding him, trapping him and showing him different looks," Josh Smith said after the Hawks held Rose to just eight point in a 109-94 win over the Bulls. "We played sound defense on him."
Just about everything went right for the Hawks in the game except for small forward Marvin Williams suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter. Williams left the game and was later diagnosed with a grade-1 ankle sprain and his status for Monday's game in New Jersey is unknown at this time.