Williams leads late push, Hawks top Thunder 104-95

Associated Press Modified: November 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm •  Published: November 4, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Before the tipoff Sunday night, Larry Drew said his new-look Atlanta Hawks were still trying to find their identity.

They might have found it by the time the game ended.

Al Horford had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Lou Williams added 10 of his 19 points during Atlanta's decisive fourth-quarter surge and the Hawks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-95.

"I thought the guys just came in here and rolled their sleeves up and played four solid quarters, and we're just really happy that we came in here and got a win," Drew said.

Williams hit a 3-pointer and a 24-foot jumper and converted a three-point play off a driving scoop in the lane during a 12-4 push midway through the fourth quarter that put the Hawks in front to stay. Williams' two free throws made it 91-84 with 4:44 to play, and Atlanta held off a final charge by Oklahoma City.

Williams ended up scoring 14 points overall during the fourth quarter as the Hawks won their road opener despite playing without starting forward Josh Smith because of a sprained right ankle.

"We've got new faces, a new team but we stuck with the offense. We believe in ourselves," said DeShawn Stevenson, who moved into the starting lineup and got the call down the stretch as Drew stuck with a mix of starters and reserves.

"This is a great team. This is a team that could easily go back to the Western Conference finals or the Finals, and to come out here without Josh Smith is big," he added.

Kevin Martin scored 28 points off the bench to lead the Thunder and Kevin Durant chipped in 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Durant was two assists shy of his first career triple-double but also wound up with six turnovers while shooting 2-for-9 in the second half.

Fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook had an off night, making 5 of 18 shots while scoring 14 points and passing out nine assists.

The Thunder's 21 turnovers led to 31 Atlanta points.

"I wish I could have had a couple of those turnovers back," said Durant, who has 20 assists and 16 turnovers in three games this season.

Oklahoma City pulled to 91-89 after Martin's 3-pointer from the left corner got the crowd roaring with 4:06 to play. Kendrick Perkins protested after being called for a foul for hacking Devin Harris on the arm on a baseline drive, and Harris hit both free throws.

On the next trip, Westbrook tried to save a rebound under the basket but ended up feeding Horford with a behind the back pass for a dunk. Another Horford dunk set up by Zaza Pachulia and Stevenson's 3-pointer — also off a Pachulia pass — bumped the lead to 100-91 with 1:28 to play.

That was too much for Oklahoma City to overcome.

Williams, the runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year last season with Philadelphia, was one of several acquisitions in an offseason roster shake-up that included Joe Johnson leaving for Brooklyn.



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