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Atlanta Hawks Finish Strong, Beat The Knicks

Stephen ClayContributor INovember 12, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 04:  Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks goes up against Wilson Chandler #21 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden March 4, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In a game that can be labeled "A Tale of Two Cities," the Atlanta Hawks defeated The New York Knicks 114-101 last night in Madison Square Garden.

Behind the play of Al Horford, the Hawks outscored the Knicks 67-47 in the second half to secure the victory and push their record to 6-2.  Horford finished with a season high 25 points on nine for 16 shooting.

The Knicks started fast and dominated first half play, taking a seven point lead into the break.  The boys from New York, going into the game with a 1-7 record, played inspired and very efficient offensively.  Al Harrington, Toney Douglas, and Larry Hughes led the way with craft post moves, deadly outside shooting and selfless sharing of the basketball.

Second half, different story.

After playing sluggishly throughout the first half, Josh Smith led the emotional urgency as the Hawks went to work immediately after the break. Smith's aggressiveness produced 22 points and 12 boards for the former slam dunk champion.

The offense, surprisingly enough, went through Horford and provided open looks for Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby. Atlanta took full control of the game after a 12-0 run and never looked back as New York started to go more one on one on the offensive end and lost total concentration on defense, giving up repeated layups and open shots.

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Johnson finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Bibby also scored 19 and Jamal Crawford closed his night with 11 points.

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