Hawks 102, Wizards 88

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 16, 2012
Joe Johnson matched his season high with 34 points, including the first two baskets of a decisive 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Washington Wizards 102-88 on Friday night. Josh Smith had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Hawks. Trevor Booker scored 18 points for the Wizards, who have lost eight straight in Atlanta since 2008. After trailing 54-50 at halftime, the Hawks took the lead with a 24-8 run that turned a 60-56 deficit in the third quarter into an 80-68 lead less than 3 minutes into the final period. After the Wizards scored six straight, the Hawks stretched the lead with an 11-0 run which started with back-to-back baskets by Johnson. John Wall had 14 points and nine assists, and Roger Mason added 12 points for the Wizards, who were held to 34 points in the second half. Jeff Teague had 14 points for Atlanta, while Zaza Pachulia chipped in with 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven assists. The Hawks improved to 14-2 when Johnson has 20 or more points. He also had 34 points on Tuesday night at Denver, gaining momentum after missing six games in late February and early March with left knee tendinitis. The Hawks, coming off a 2-4 road trip, had difficulty pulling away from the Wizards, who were looking for their second road win in two nights. The two players acquired by the Wizards at Thursday's trade deadline, center Nene and forward Brian Cook, have not joined the team. Coach Randy Wittman said Cook may join the team Sunday in Memphis and Nene's debut may come Wednesday at New Jersey. Washington traded guard Nick Young and centers JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver in Thursday's three-team deal with the Clippers. The short-handed Wizards won at New Orleans on Thursday night, ending a three-game losing streak. The Hawks were without forward Marvin Williams, who missed his second straight game after he hurt his left hip at Denver on Tuesday night. Coach Larry Drew's season of adjustments continued as he tried a three-guard lineup. Johnson moved from shooting guard to small forward. Kirk Hinrich again joined point guard Jeff Teague in the backcourt. Drew said he may stick with Hinrich as a starter when Williams returns. He said he likes the added quickness in the backcourt, including on defense, and the scoring punch Williams can provide off the bench. The three-guard lineup was effective for Atlanta early. Johnson had 15 points while making each of his three 3-point attempts in the first quarter. Notes: Washington's last win in Atlanta came on Jan. 11, 2008. ... Atlanta was without backup guard Willie Green (hamstring). ... President Obama visited Atlanta, leading to traffic backups near Philips Arena before the game. Wittman's scheduled media availability before the game had to be pushed back as he tried to make his way to the arena.
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