ATLANTA -- Joe Johnson scored 17 points, Josh Smith had 14 points and seven rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the New Orleans Hornets 108-102 on Wednesday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
"We jumped on them early," Smith said. "It was good to see the cohesiveness on offense, given that it was out first preseason game."
"When you've been in camp seven, eight, nine days like we've had," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said, "guys are kind of anxious to see someone else on the basketball floor."
The Hawks shot 13 of 22 (59 percent) in the second quarter, while the Hornets shot only 20 percent (4 of 20) as Atlanta took a 62-36 halftime lead.
"We started getting some stops," Paul said of the late comeback. "The main thing is communication."
Hornets coach Byron Scott was pleased with his team's tempo after the first half, but said, "We're not really giddy about the way we played, but we saw some improvement."
Hawks G/F Mo Evans (left knee contusion) and F Joe Smith (left knee drained) did not practice Tuesday. C Jason Collins (strained right quad) also sat out. ... Hornets F/C Emeka Okafor (sprained right toe) is expected to be sidelined five or six days. ... Hilton Armstrong (strained left quad) is day to day and Scott said he does not expect to use the center on Thursday at Charlotte. F Ike Diogu (strained left knee) sat out.
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