Hawks picks up first win in Minnesota in nearly a decade
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson poured in 29 points and doled out eight assists, and the Atlanta Hawks ended almost a decade of futility in Minnesota with a 105-88 thrashing of the Timberwolves.
Josh Smith scored 21 points for the Hawks, who hadn't won in Minnesota since April of 1997, a mark that spanned eight games. Zaza Pachulia added 12 points, while Josh Childress donated 11 as Atlanta won its third straight contest.
"Offensively and defensively I thought we were solid," said Hawks head coach Mike Woodson. "I thought we were solid from beginning to end."
Mark Blount scored 16 points and grabbed 11 boards for the Timberwolves, who had a three-game winning streak snapped with the loss. Kevin Garnett suffered through a 6-for-15 shooting performance, scoring 13 points and pulling down 13 boards. Mike James and Ricky Davis added 13 points apiece in the loss.
A Childress layup put the Hawks up 85-65 early in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta lead hovered at or above 20 for the rest of the way, topping out at 105-79 before the Timberwolves scored nine straight over the final 2:02.
"We didn't play well tonight, it seemed like they hit every shot," said Garnett. "We couldn't get into a flow. It was not one of our better nights."
Johnson opened the second half with a three-pointer, and the Hawks outscored the Timberwolves 16-7 over the first 5 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. A Pachulia layup closed the stretch, pushing the Atlanta advantage to 72-52 with 6:30 left in the stanza.
Johnson scored 13 points in the first quarter, including a three-pointer that put the Hawks up 24-20 with 1:47 left. Atlanta held a 26-22 lead entering the second quarter.
Johnson hit threes on consecutive possessions midway through the second quarter to key a 10-0 run. A Salim Stoudamire jumper closed the run, putting Atlanta up 45-30 with 5:47 left in the first half. The Hawks held a 56-45 lead at the midway point.
Atlanta sank 7-of-13 from behind the arc (53.8 percent), while the Timberwolves only hit 4-of-16 (25 percent)...Marvin Williams had 10 rebounds and seven points for Atlanta.ATL MIN