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Atlanta at Washington

Hawks fly past Wiz, move into eighth in Eastern Conference

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Nearly a decade of playoff futility is enough for the Atlanta Hawks.

Recent Hawks addition Mike Bibby scored 23 points, and Atlanta beat the Washington Wizards 105-96 to move one-half game ahead of idle New Jersey for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Hawks last made the playoffs during the lockout shortened 1998-99 season, the longest postseason drought in the NBA.

"I think our chances are good. It's in our hands," said Bibby, who was acquired on Feb. 16 from Sacramento and has played in 51 playoff games. "You never really want to leave it up to anybody else to try to get into the playoffs. I've been there before to where I've waited to see how other teams finish to see if you're going to make it not, so I want to impress upon these guys that it's there for us to take and we've got to go do it."

Mike Woodson has been impressed with his team.

"I thought tonight's game was played with playoff intensity," Woodson said. "We control our own destiny. We have a bunch of Eastern Conference teams that we've got to play -- teams like Chicago, Indiana, Milwaukee, New Jersey.

"All I'm telling my guys is to concentrate and take it one game at a time and play it as if it's your last game," he added.

He thinks that a big part of the difference has been the addition of Bibby.

"He's starting to get comfortable with our players, and they're starting to get comfortable with him," Woodson said. "He can make a shot -- and if you're open -- he will give you the ball. We haven't had that since I have been here as coach."

Joe Johnson scored 18 points and had 10 assists. The Hawks, who shot 55.4 percent, also were helped by Josh Smith, who had 17 points, Josh Childress with 16 points and rookie center Al Horford, who added 12 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high six assists.

"To make the playoffs, every game we've got to focus in and know what's going on," Johnson said.

Washington, which had its three-game winning streak end, had won 12 of 15 games against the Hawks. The Wizards fell to 33-33.

Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 25 points. Brendan Haywood had 16 points - none in the final 23:20.

"We kind of went through the motions," Jamison said.

The Hawks never trailed in the first half, shooting 58.3 percent, but Haywood made two free throws at the start of the second to give the Wizards their first lead.

Atlanta took a 58-57 lead on Marvin Williams' jump shot with 10:30 remaining in the third quarter, and despite having to play much of the second half without Smith, who sat with four fouls, they held the lead for the rest of the quarter and led 84-77 after three.

Childress replaced Smith and scored 16 points. His 3-pointer with 10:09 to play gave Atlanta its largest lead - 87-77.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan didn't fault his team's effort, but said Caron Butler, who missed 16 games with a strained hip flexor and Antonio Daniels, who's been starting at point guard in place of Gilbert Arenas, have sore left wrists, which are sorely hampering their games.

"We've got some serious beat-up guys on our team," Jordan said.

He also said he was planning to implement a curfew for this week's two-game trip to Orlando and Miami.

"We've never had curfews before," Jordan said. "We're going to put guys in the position to be professional -- to get ready for a business trip - not a Florida pleasure trip."

Notes

  • Washington G Arenas, who had left knee surgery on March 21, had an MRI on Monday and will increase the intensity of his workouts in an attempt to hasten his return.
  • Wizards C Haywood returned after missing one game with a strain of his left patella tendon.
  • Washington F Jamison was named the Eastern Conference's Player of the Week.
  • Atlanta has won twice in a row on the road -- for just the second time this season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Mike Bibby provides a team-high 23 points to help the Hawks defeat the Wizards.  (AP)
Mike Bibby provides a team-high 23 points to help the Hawks defeat the Wizards. (AP)

Scoreboard
Atlanta (29-38) «29253021105
Washington (33-33) 2429241996
ATL:M. Bibby 23 Pts
ATL:A. Horford 15 Reb
ATL:J. Johnson 10 Ast
WAS:A. Jamison 25 Pts
WAS:A. Jamison 9 Reb
WAS:C. Butler 8 Ast
Players of the Game
WashingtonAtlanta

A. Jamison

M. Bibby
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
25902323
Atlanta
J. Johnson, SG448-201-1410318
A. Horford, PF386-90-0156212
M. Bibby, PG377-134-423123
J. Smith, SF297-103-380517
M. Williams, SF263-71-34237
J. Childress, SG425-74-654216
Z. Pachulia, C133-41-22017
A. Law, PG112-40-00024
M. West, SG10-01-20001
S. Claxton, PGDid Not Play
S. Stoudamire, SGDid Not Play
S. Jones, PFDid Not Play
J. Richardson, SFDid Not Play
Totals 41-7415-21402519105
 55.4%71.4% 
Washington
A. Jamison, PF4310-214-590225
D. Stevenson, SG343-84-413113
C. Butler, SF344-134-478212
B. Haywood, C327-102-593216
A. Daniels, PG283-52-20318
R. Mason, SG276-80-000314
D. Songaila, PF182-60-03014
N. Young, SG132-70-01224
A. Blatche, SF50-10-02110
D. McGuire, PF40-00-01000
O. Pecherov, C10-20-01000
E. Thomas, CDid Not Play
G. Arenas, PGDid Not Play
Totals 37-8116-2034201596
 45.7%80.0% 
Other Games
NY 98 Final
Ind 110
Cle 90 Final
Orl 104
Chi 97 Final
NO 108
LAC 90 Final
Min 99
Char 80 Final
Mem 98
Bos 93 Final
SA 91
Tor 79 Final
Utah 96