Rookies Horford, Law help Hawks past BobcatsOct 12, 2007 - 2:13 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Atlanta's rookies sure made a good first impression.
Acie Law IV had 10 points, six rebounds and six assists in his first preseason start and Al Horford added 10 points and nine rebounds to lead the resurgent Atlanta Hawks to a 109-104 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in their home preseason opener on Thursday.
The Hawks, who have not made the playoffs since the strike-shortened 1998-99 campaign, have been enduring years of futility en route to collecting the dubious distinction of having the NBA's longest post-season drought.
But the future for the Hawks looked a little brighter this offseason after the club finally addressed their needs at center and point guard, when they selected Horford and Law with the third and 11th picks in the 2007 draft.
With Atlanta resting the oft-injured Speedy Claxton in the second game of a preseason back-to-back, Law made his first start for Atlanta. The 22-year-old Texas A&M standout proved up to the challenge.
Horford teamed with Law during a sensational stretch to end the first half to give Atlanta the lead for good.
With Atlanta trailing, 54-52, Law found Horford down low for the dunk to tie the game with 1:03 remaining in the second quarter.
After Charlotte rookie Jermareo Davidson answered with a hook and Hawks center Zaza Pachulia hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to 56-55, the 21-year old Horford, who was drafted for low post presence, snared Raymond Felton's missed layup and fed a wide-open Josh Childress for a fast-break dunk to give the Hawks a 57-56 edge with 24 seconds left in the half.
Jason Richardson hit two free throws to give Charlotte the lead, but Law found Horford again for a dunk to give Atlanta a 59-58 lead at the break. Atlanta opened the second half with a 20-4 run to put the game away. All-Star forward Joe Johnson had eight points in the spurt, which was capped by Horford's 16-foot jumper with 5:45 remaining in the third period to give Atlanta a 79-62 lead.
Johnson led seven Hawks in double figures with 25 points.
Charlotte pulled within four when Matt Carroll hit a jumper with 45 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 107-103, but Law answered with a layup with 22 seconds left to seal the victory.
Adam Morrison led Charlotte with 20 points and the newly-acquired Richardson scored 12 points for the Bobcats, who have lost both preseason games.
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