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Hornets can't solve Hawks' zone defense

12/22/2001

ATLANTA (AP) -- After watching his defense get shredded in the
first quarter, Atlanta Hawks coach Lon Kruger decided to try
something different.

The Hawks switched from a conventional man-to-man to a 1-2-2
zone and rallied to a 101-88 victory over Charlotte on Saturday
night, holding the Hornets to 35 percent shooting over the final
three periods.

Jason Terry scored 22 points and Dion Glover added 19 as Atlanta
snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Hornets.

"We've been banging our heads up against the wall trying to
cover man-to-man, and we just haven't been doing a very good job of
that," Kruger said. "So, we need to look at every alternative."

The Hawks fell behind by 14 points in the first quarter before
switching to zone, and it frustrated Charlotte, which
lost for the fourth time in five games.

David Wesley scored 26 points and Baron Davis added 19 for the
Hornets.

"We didn't get any penetration," Wesley said. "We had to
shoot jump shots."

The Hawks took their first lead on Glover's 3-pointer with 4:44
left in the third, the first of four straight 3s. Glover added two
more 3s and Terry had one, giving Atlanta a four-point lead at the
end of the quarter.

Atlanta pulled away with a 17-5 run to start the fourth,
extending its advantage to 92-76. Five players scored during the
spurt, led by Terry's six points.

Hornets coach Paul Silas emptied his bench with three minutes
left in the game.

"I knew they were going to play off of me because I haven't
been shooting that well," Glover said. "I just got in a good
rhythm and stayed ready to shoot. Fortunately, they were going
in."

Shareef Abdur-Rahim shrugged off a bad start to finish with 16
points and 13 rebounds. He picked up a technical foul during a
timeout in the second quarter, and was energized by the call.
Abdur-Rahim made four of his last six shots.

"Their offense was outstanding or our defense was bad,"
Charlotte center Elden Campbell said. "In the third quarter, they
shot the ball really well. They got a little pep."

Both teams played zone for most of the first half, but Atlanta
had more success. Charlotte manhandled the Hawks' in the first
quarter, taking an 11-point lead and shooting 57 percent.

But against the zone in the second period, the Hornets shot just
6-for-22. Except for an occasional possession, Atlanta stuck with
the zone for the rest of the game.

Campbell scored 17 points for Charlotte, and Davis had 12
assists.

Hawks forward Toni Kukoc missed the game with back spasms and is
listed day-to-day. He was replaced in the staring lineup by Hanno
Mottola.

Game notes
Atlanta's previous victory against Charlotte came Nov. 16,
1999. ... Mottola picked up three fouls in the first quarter and
played just 10 minutes. He went to the bench early in the third
with his fourth foul and didn't return.