"We had a hard time getting quality shots. When the game slowed down, we just couldn't get very good looks," Atlanta forward Kyle Korver said. "Obviously, we were missing some guys that help us get those shots. They played well. They have a lot of weapons. The Nets have a lot of size, so you have to give them credit."
Williams was only 1 of 10 from the field in the second half, saying he let some frustration with the referees affect his aggressiveness. But he made all seven free throws and will bring a streak of 47 consecutive makes into Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee.
"It's a really big game for us," Williams said. "They beat us twice now, twice in a row and it's a huge game. We're only a couple games back of them and so this is big."
Drew said Horford had a sore hamstring and calf. He was in uniform but didn't start for just the second time in Hawks' 39 games, and Drew decided not to use him at all.
Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said before the game the Nets' transition defense had to be "400 times" better than it was Wednesday, wanting to see how his team came out in the first few minutes. The Hawks then made seven of their first eight shots, including all four 3-pointers, but the Nets stuck right with them and it was 29-all after one.
It was still tied in the second when Williams came up with a steal and was driving for a basket when his leg gave out as he tried to plant to go up for the shot with 7:12 remaining. He limped out of bounds behind the basket and was taken to the back for attention, unable to put any pressure on the leg. The Hawks said he had a sprained right knee and would undergo testing Friday night and Saturday.
Notes: Smith passed Eddie Johnson (9,631 points) for eighth on the team's career scoring list. Smith now has 9,633. ... Gerald Wallace returned to the Nets' lineup after missing two games and coming off the bench in one because of bruised ribs. He had eight points on 1-of-6 shooting. ... Nets official scorer Herb Turetzky worked his 1,200th consecutive game, a streak that began in May 1984. Turetzky is in his 46th season as the Nets' official scorer and has worked 1,887 games overall.