Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Friday, November 14th
Game 2: Saturday, November 15th
Game 3: Friday, January 2nd
Game 4: Friday, January 30th

Nets 88

(20-27, 11-12 away)

Hawks 105

(27-19, 18-5 home)

    Coverage: YES

    7:30 PM ET, January 30, 2009

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 28 25 18 1788
    ATL 25 30 25 25105

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: V. Carter 18 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Atlanta: J. Johnson 29 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Johnson scores 29, Bibby 20 as Hawks shake season-long slump vs. Nets

    Associated Press

    ATLANTA -- Joe Johnson found his shot, and the Atlanta Hawks found a way to beat the New Jersey Nets.

    Johnson scored 29 points to shake his January slump as the Hawks won the matchup of high-scoring backcourts and beat the Nets 105-88 on Friday night.

    Fast Facts

    • Atlanta outscored New Jersey 50-35 after the break, snapping the Hawks' four-game losing streak against the Nets.

    • Joe Johnson scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second half. Mike Bibby added 20 points and Flip Murray scored 23 on 9-of-12 shooting off the bench.

    • New Jersey has lost three straight and nine of its last 11 games.

    -- ESPN research

    Johnson's mate Mike Bibby added 20 points as Atlanta won against New Jersey for the first time in four tries this season.

    "I think we were just more aggressive," Johnson said. "We were very relentless in getting to the basket and making plays. They really kicked us in the first three games so we knew we had to come out and be the aggressor."

    New Jersey's Devin Harris and Vince Carter form the top-scoring backcourt in the league with their combined average of 43.1 points, about six points better than the third-place Hawks' combo. But Harris (20 points) and Carter (18) combined to make only 11 of 31 shots against Atlanta.

    "We kind of lost our composure a little bit," Harris said. "We fought back and then Joe Johnson just kind of took over the game. ... We just didn't have that last push."

    Hawks backup guard Flip Murray had 23 points and Marvin Williams added 16 with 11 rebounds.

    Johnson finished one point shy of reaching 10,000 for his career. He said he didn't realize late in the game he was so close to the milestone, but he was painfully aware of his struggles this month.

    Entering the game, Johnson was averaging only 16.8 points -- almost 5 points below his season average -- and shooting only 35 percent from the field in January. With their leader struggling, the Hawks were 5-9 in the month before beating the Nets.

    "I take a lot of the blame for January because I haven't been playing up to par," Johnson said. "I think I'm starting to get it back now."

    Bibby also had struggled, scoring a combined 12 points in three straight losses.

    "It's good to have them back," Williams said. "They haven't been shooting the ball well the last few games, but they came back tonight. ... I'll take my backcourt against any backcourt in the league."

    Johnson, who earned his third straight All-Star selection when he was named an Eastern Conference backup on Thursday, emerged from his slump to make 11 of 17 shots from the field.

    "Joe Johnson took over," said Nets coach Lawrence Frank. "He was the dominant player."

    Johnson said he and Bibby looked at the matchup against the Nets as a challenge.

    "I just told Mike in order for us to succeed as a team, if we don't have a great game, we at least have to play OK," Johnson said. "He agreed. Tonight was an example.

    "Me and Mike both had a challenge tonight. We fought hard tonight and I thought we answered the challenge."

    Bibby said the Hawks won with defense.

    "We were making it tough on their top two scorers to get to the basket," Bibby said. "Shots come and go when you play 82 games. Tonight we were trying to get on track defensively and try to play together."

    New Jersey has lost eight of nine, including three straight.

    "We have got to turn it around pretty quick," Harris said. "This is the time."

    Added Carter: "If we want to continue to be a playoff team we've got to go out there and perform."

    The Hawks pulled away in the second half after leading only 55-53 at halftime. Bibby didn't score in the first quarter but was 4-for-4 from the field for 11 points in the second period.

    The Hawks outscored the Nets 50-35 in the second half.

    "They out-executed is in the second half," Carter said. "I think we got in a rush."

    Game notes

    Hawks coach Mike Woodson said C Al Horford, who missed his 11th straight game with a bone bruise in his right knee, could return to practice Monday and possibly play Wednesday at Minnesota. ... Nets rookie Brook Lopez had 15 points and Josh Boone added 10. ... The Hawks snapped their three-game losing streak.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 105
    FGM-FGA 30-75 (.400) 36-70 (.514)
    3PM-3PA 7-20 (.350) 7-22 (.318)
    FTM-FTA 21-31 (.677) 26-31 (.839)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-39 7-37
    Assists 16 21
    Turnovers 17 15
    Steals 6 10
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 4 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 19

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 18
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 29
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0