The Union Recorder

Local Sports

January 9, 2013

Pekovic powers Wolves over slumping Hawks, 108-103

(Continued)

MINNEAPOLIS —

Rubio had eight assists, four steals and four points in 18 minutes in his first game back after missing the previous four with back spasms. He returned from a torn left ACL in the middle of last month and has had to deal with groin and back problems during his comeback. But he said he's eager to see how his body responds on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City when he plays in games on consecutive days for the first time since his knee injury.

"I think it's going to be a good test," Rubio said.

Lou Williams finished with 21 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who trailed by 14 to start the fourth but had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds.

Dante Cunningham then stole the inbounds pass and Luke Ridnour knocked down two free throws to seal the win.

The Wolves have been the worst 3-point shooting team in the league virtually all season, but they hit 8 of 15 against the Hawks to get a big win before a four-game road trip.

While the Heat and Knicks grabbed all the headlines in the first two months of the season, the Hawks quietly put together a solid start that kept them right on their heels. They won 19 of their first 28 games, beating the likes of Oklahoma City, Indiana (twice), the Clippers and Memphis along the way. But they lost at Detroit and home against Boston in a back-to-back last weekend, scoring just nine points in the third quarter against the Celtics.

"We waited way too long to start playing," Drew said. "The first half we were soft, soft. We did not guard very well. I thought physically they did just about anything they wanted to."

The Hawks had a team meeting after being blitzed by the Celtics in the second half, and Smith bristled at being called soft.

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