ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks capped their first winning
month in almost three years with their highest point total of the
season, beating the Golden State Warriors 115-94 on Wednesday
Joe Johnson, hoping to be picked as a reserve for the All-Star
game, scored 33 points. The Hawks are 9-5 when Johnson scores 30 or
The Hawks won for the fourth time in five games to post their
first winning month in coach Mike Woodson's three years. The 8-7
January record is Atlanta's first winning month since a 4-3 mark in
April 2004. The Hawks had not won as many as eight games in a month
since a 9-7 record in March 2002.
The Hawks rank 29th of 30 NBA teams with their average of only
91.5 points per game. The Warriors are third with 105.9, an average
the Hawks had not reached in 17 straight games before Wednesday
The young Hawks, who scored a season-best 70 points in the first
half, seemed to enjoy the rare freedom to run, though Johnson fell
short of his career high set the last time the Warriors visited
Atlanta. Johnson scored 42 points against the Warriors on March 7,
Atlanta's previous scoring high came in a 113-112 overtime loss
to Seattle on Nov. 11.
Former Hawks forward Al Harrington led the Warriors with 21
points. Baron Davis and another former Atlanta starter, Stephen
Jackson, each had 17 points.
The Hawks' 70 first-half points were their most in a half since
scoring 71 in the first half against the New York Knicks on Dec.
18, 2005. The team's previous high total this season was 60
first-half points at Portland on Dec. 3.
Early in the game, it appeared the Hawks would have difficulty
containing the Warriors' up-tempo pace. The running game helped
Golden State score 16 of its first 20 points in the paint. The
Warriors outscored the Hawks 22-10 in the paint in the opening
Golden State shot 59 percent from the field in the first quarter
and still trailed 30-29, thanks to Johnson's last-second 3-pointer.
The Hawks then outscored the Warriors 40-27 in the second quarter
for a 70-56 halftime lead.
Warriors guard Monta Ellis played a reserve role after
suffering a sprained right ankle Tuesday night. ... Hawks F
Jeremy Richardson, signed to a 10-day contract Saturday, made his debut
with five points. ... The Hawks listed G Salim Stoudamire as
inactive. ... Hawks PG Speedy Claxton, who has missed 11 games with
a sore left knee, hopes to play Friday against Toronto, according