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Johnson scores 34 points to lead Hawks to win

POSTED: November 18, 2007 5:04 a.m.
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks have to wait to learn if their victory over the Charlotte Bobcats was a costly one.

Joe Johnson scored a season-high 34 points, Josh Childress added 23, also a season best, and the Hawks never trailed in beating the Bobcats 117-109 on Wednesday night.

The Hawks, however, lost two starters with injuries.

"We have to evaluate them overnight and see where we are. We have to mix and match right now until we see what our injuries are. I won’t know that until tomorrow," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said.

Josh Smith, who had 15 points and five blocks, strained his left quad early in the third quarter and did not return. The Hawks also lost rookie point guard Acie Law with a left ankle sprain with 6:47 left in the third period. He had two points and six assists. Both did not return.

"We’ll have an MRI tomorrow morning. I don’t think it’s really that bad," said Smith. "I don’t take that long to heal."

Law was still hurting after the game.

"It’s kind of sore right now, but I think it’s only a bad sprain. I don’t think it’s broken. I’ll come in for treatment tomorrow and we’ll see."

The Hawks (3-4) are at home to Seattle on Friday night, then play Saturday at Milwaukee and return home for a game against San Antonio on Tuesday night.

Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson led the Bobcats with 27 points apiece.

"We came out flat tonight," Richardson said.

"They had the game won by the end of the first quarter. Joe Johnson is tough to deal with. There are a handful of guys in the league that are tough to deal with and Joe is definitely one of them."

The Hawks twice led by 18 points in the first half and were up 63-48 at the break behind Johnson’s 20 points. Atlanta shot 24-for-35 in the first 24 minutes (68.6 percent). Wallace had 12 points for Charlotte and Richardson added 10.

Atlanta took the lead for good at 6-4. Charlotte never got closer than six points in the second half, trailing 69-63 on a basket by Richardson with 5:20 left in the third period.



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