Hawks top Mavericks in opener

ATLANTA - One win won't end the NBA's longest active playoff drought, but it was a good start for the Atlanta Hawks.

Joe Johnson scored 28 points, and the Hawks beat the Dallas Mavericks 101-94 in their season-opener on Friday night.

The Hawks opened the season with a home win for the first time since the 1998-99 season, the last time they appeared in the playoffs.

Johnson put the game away with a jumper with 11 seconds left that made it 97-92.

Josh Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, while Marvin Williams added 16 points and Tyronn Lue had 14.

Dirk Nowitzki 28 points for Dallas, while Jason Terry had 20 and Jose Barea added 14.

Nowitzki scored 11 points in the third quarter when Dallas, which trailed by as many as 16 points, rallied to take its first lead since the opening minute.

The Hawks beat the Mavericks for the first time since Dec. 22, 2004. Dallas then won four straight over Atlanta, including a sweep of last season's two games.

The Hawks were without their two most experienced inside players, Zaza Pachulia (left knee) and Lorenzen Wright (foot).

When rookie Al Horford sat down with four fouls less than four minutes into the second half, Nowitzki took advantage of a matchup with Shelden Williams to score nine of the Mavericks' next 11 points.

A 3-pointer by Nowitzki gave Dallas its first lead, 57-56, with 6:30 left in the third quarter.

Horford finished his first NBA game with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Devin Harris scored the first 10 points for Dallas but scored only one more before bruising his left thigh late in the second quarter. He did not play in the second half.

Atlanta's two first-round draft picks played key roles as the Hawks took the early lead. Horford started and had six points on three dunks and six rebounds in the opening quarter as Atlanta led 29-19.

Acie Law, who had eight points, drove past Harris with 6:22 left in the first half to give Atlanta its biggest lead at 41-25. The Hawks didn't have another field goal the rest of the half as Dallas cut the lead to 46-39.


F Juwan Howard made his season debut with Dallas late in the first quarter. He joined the team on Tuesday. He did not score in 7 minutes. Pachulia began running on Friday as he recovers from a sprained left knee.