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Atlanta holiday let-down
Posted By John Morgo On Dec 26 2010 @ 9:38 pm In Atlanta Hawks | No Comments
For citizens of Atlanta, who are nestled by their plasma TV’s with care, the roads are deserted. Half an inch of snow will do that. Yeah, the northeast is about to get inundated, but we have a dusting, and since we have absolutely no idea what to do about it, we ran to the store and buy up all the milk. Heck, I went to work at 6:30 this morning and the roads were fine. Even that part of the 285-85 interchange where you get on that long bridge. Okay, I’m rambling.
Anyway, the big battle between Atlanta and New Orleans takes place in 24 hours at the Georgia Dome (or, as I call it, the House that Deion Colored) where the Falcons and Saints meet to decide the NFC South title. An Atlanta win in the next two and they don’t have to go on the road until a trip to Dallas in February. (No biggie if they lose to the Saints. The woeful Panthers come calling the next week, but Mike Smith wants that cushion so he can treat it like an extended exhibition game (where the mantra is, NO STARTER GETS HURT). But that’s not the point of this column. I’m here to talk about the warm-up match, the NBA contest between Atlanta and the New Orleans Hornets that just wrapped up.
Bad news first: Atlanta lost to the Hornets 93-86. Atlanta owned a 9-point lead at the break, 55-46. The Hornets made adjustments at the break and Atlanta couldn’t respond. That lead evaporated after the third and Atlanta mustered just 15 points in the final quarter. Two big stats: Atlanta shot 30% from the floor in the second half, and the Hornets ran off 10 straight points after Atlanta had a 81-80 lead halfway through the fourth quarter. Give Joe Johnson credit. He had five points after that run to make it 90-86 with 90 seconds left. Al Horford ran into Chris Paul while chasing down a loose ball and that was the difference. Joe continued his fine play in his return from his injury, tallying 23 while Marvin Williams had 18. For the Hornets, Paul had 22, while New Orleans had a +9 rebounding edge. The road doesn’t get easier. The Hawks go to Milwaukee for tomorrow night’s game with the Bucks.
This was the first game back from the Christmas break and the three days off enabled the team to recover from injuries. However, Marvin cramped up in spots during the fourth quarter and was noticeably limping down the stretch. Hopefully, it doesn’t come into play in Milwaukee. We need all the bodies we can get to throw at Andrew Bogut and friends.
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