The Atlanta Hawks bounced back in a big way Wednesday night defeating the Brooklyn Nets 109-95. The Hawks entered the game losing six of their past seven games and learned earlier today that they would be without Josh Smith who was suspended for conduct detrimental.
Atlanta came out loose and seemingly flipped the switch. The defense returned and with it a number of fast break opportunities. Offensively the ball movement was back to the tune of 33 assists on 45 made baskets. That freed up shooters on the perimeter where the Hawks knocked down 58 percent of their shots.
Atlanta jumped out to a 27-20 lead after one and extended it to 56-40 at the half. The Hawks led by 19 at the end of the third. Brooklyn made a run in the fourth cutting the lead to 12 but Atlanta answered and cruised home with a much needed feel good win.
Jeff Teague shook off a two-week slump to finish with 28 points and 11 assists. His backcourt mate Devin Harris added 18 points, five assists and three steals. Al Horford logged a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Zaza Pachulia moved into the starting lineup and narrowly missed out on a triple-double finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points and nine rebounds. Joe Johnson added 15 in his return to Atlanta but was just 4-15 from the field. Deron Williams added 12 but also struggled to the tune of 5-18 shooting. Brooklyn shot 43 percent for the game and finished with 17 assists.
Next up for the Hawks is a rematch with the Nets at the brand new Barclay Center on Friday.