Hawks 80, Mavericks 75

The Atlanta Hawks recovered from one of their worst defensive

efforts of the season with one of their best.

Joe Johnson scored 31 points and the Hawks limited the Mavericks

to 19 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter as Atlanta ended

a streak of five winless trips to Dallas with an 80-75 victory on

Saturday night.

Atlanta had dropped four of its previous six including a 114-107

home loss to New York on Friday night when the Knicks shot 58

percent from the field.

“It was a big bounce back,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.

“(Friday) night we definitely had nothing going for us as a

defense. We talked about it over breakfast.”

Josh Smith added 12 points, and Marvin Williams had a

career-high 15 rebounds to help the Hawks hand the Mavericks a

second consecutive defeat for the first time this season.

Johnson had eight points and four rebounds in the fourth

quarter.

“I thought we showed a lot of guts coming off a tough

back-to-back to come in against a team as good as Dallas and win,”

Johnson said.

Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Terry

added 17 points for the Mavericks, who set a season low for points

for the second straight night.

Atlanta was clinging to a one-point lead early in the fourth

quarter when the Hawks scored eight straight points, capped by

Jamal Crawford’s 16-footer, for a 74-65 advantage with 7:28 to

play.

The Hawks turned up the defense down the stretch, forcing the

Mavericks into eight straight missed field goals until Nowitzki’s

layup with 3:22 left pulled Dallas to 76-73.

Dallas narrowed the gap to 78-75 with 40.4 seconds remaining on

Terry’s two free throws, and the Mavericks had a chance to get

closer after Atlanta’s Mike Bibby missed a 3-pointer with 18

seconds remaining.

The Mavericks tried to get Nowitzki open for a 3-pointer, but

Nowitzki committed a turnover when he kicked the ball with 9.8

seconds to play.

The Mavericks thought they’d forced a turnover on Atlanta’s next

possession. Al Horford of the Hawks caught an inbounds pass, then

dribbled the ball off his foot. The ball rolled into the backcourt

where Horford regained possession, but referees did not call a

backcourt violation.

“It appeared on the replay Horford dribbled off his foot and

recovered in the backcourt,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.

“It was a call missed.”

Johnson’s two free throws with 1.5 seconds left iced the game

for the Hawks.

Dallas was coming off a 98-82 loss at Memphis on Friday night,

shooting a season-worst 35 percent from the floor. The Mavericks

had 16 turnovers and went 25-for-67 from the field against the

Hawks.

““We just couldn’t find any way to get through their

defense,” Terry said. ‘They’re long and athletic. They kept us out

of the paint.”

The Hawks were the fresher of the two teams in the early going,

connecting on 12 of their first 22 field-goal attempts for a 27-19

edge heading into the second period.

Atlanta led by 13 in the second quarter, but the Mavericks

closed with a 13-1 run over the final 7:19 of the first half as

Dallas reduced the deficit to 41-40 at the break.

The Hawks went through a stretch of 10:28 in the second and

third quarters without a field goal, missing 20 straight shots

before a Johnson put-back pulled the Hawks within 48-45.

Johnson scored the final two baskets of the third quarter, the

second with 3.2 seconds left, and Atlanta carried a 64-60 lead into

the final quarter.

NOTES: Dallas won 11 of the previous 12 home meetings with

Atlanta. … Terry, who was drafted 10th overall by Atlanta in 1999

and played five seasons for the Hawks, started for the first time

this season, giving the Mavericks their seventh different starting

five. … Mavericks G Quinton Ross missed his seventh straight game

with tightness in his lower back. … The Hawks went 1-for-6 from

the free throw line and shot 5-for-25 from the floor in the second

quarter. … Atlanta held a 20-4 first-half advantage in points in

the paint.