Nets fall to the Hawks

January 30, 2009 8:05:01 PM PST
Joe Johnson scored 29 points, leading the way as the Atlanta Hawks won the battle of high-scoring backcourts and beat the New Jersey Nets 105-88 on Friday night. Johnson's backcourt-mate Mike Bibby added 20 points as the Hawks won for the first time in four tries against the Nets this season.

Johnson finished one point shy of reaching 10,000 for his career.

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.

They had averaged about 54 points per game in New Jersey's three wins over Atlanta. New Jersey has lost eight of nine, including three straight.

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

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.

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 if he has no trouble running Saturday. ... Nets rookie Brook Lopez had 15 points and Josh Boone added 10. ... The Hawks snapped their three-game losing streak.