NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Atlanta
(Friday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Atlanta 101, Dallas 94
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson scored 28 points, pulled down seven rebounds and hit the go-ahead layup, as Atlanta opened its season with a surprising 101-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Josh Smith tallied 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which had lost its last eight season openers. However, the Hawks have been playing well for nearly a month now under fourth-year head coach Mike Woodson.
In preseason action, the Hawks finished at 7-1, their best preseason mark since going 7-1 in the 1983 exhibition season. They followed that by beating Dallas for just the fourth time in the last 18 meetings.
"It feels real good," Smith said. "What feels even better is winning it in close situations. There's been times where we've gotten in close games like tonight and haven't come up with wins. That shows the growth and maturity in our team that we can get it done in close situations."
Tyronn Lue had nine of his 14 points in the final quarter for Atlanta.
Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and eight boards for Dallas, which was coming off a 92-74 victory at Cleveland on Wednesday in its season opener. Devin Harris departed the game late in the second quarter with a left thigh contusion.
Jason Terry scored 20 points for the Mavericks, who led by one going into the fourth quarter, only to falter in the final minutes. Dallas was outrebounded, 52-38.
"Effort and contact, we just have to make more contact," Mavs coach Avery Johnson said. "That team, when you're talking about Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Shelden Williams, all those guys they're pretty athletic. So you've really got to make contact against them before you get that rebound. It's something we're dealing with the first two games. We got away with it in Cleveland, and didn't get away with it so much tonight."
Johnson's layup boosted the Hawks to a 92-90 lead with 2:09 left, and the Mavericks missed twice on their next possession, with Nowitzki blowing a layup, and Terry was off the mark on a three-point try.
Lue then made one foul shot, but missed the second with 1:03 left. However, Smith got the offensive rebound, and Marvin Williams' layup moved the lead to 95-90 with 41.7 seconds remaining.
Terry hit a jumper from the right baseline with 32.6 seconds to go, and Dallas seemingly had a defensive stop as Brandon Bass blocked a shot from Johnson. However, Atlanta got the loose ball and Johnson's jumper from the right side with 11.4 seconds left made it a 97-92 contest.
Nowitzki then missed a three-pointer and Smith's two foul shots with eight seconds left sealed Atlanta's win.
Marvin Williams had 16 points and rookie Al Horford finished with nine points and 10 boards for the Hawks.
It was tight throughout the first part of the opening quarter, but an 11-2 run by the Hawks moved them ahead by nine and it was 29-19 going into the second. The Mavs trimmed the deficit to 46-39 at the half, but lost the services of Harris after he collided with Smith.
An 11-2 run by the Mavs moved them to a 57-56 lead, with Nowitzki's three- pointer capping the burst. It was Dallas ahead 69-68 going into the fourth.
The Hawks beat the Mavericks for the first time since Dec. 22, 2004...The Hawks tipped off their 40th year in Atlanta...These teams will meet in Dallas on December 29...Jose Barea had 14 points and Harris 11 for the Mavs, who also got six blocks from DeSagana Diop...Juwan Howard, who signed as a free agent on Thursday, had no points and three fouls in seven minutes for the Mavs...Bass scored 10 points.
11/02 23:00:35 ET