Hawks fans lacking at Rockets game

It's not as if the Hawks aren't accustomed to playing in front of small, subdued crowds since their home attendance ranks in the bottom third of the NBA.

But the crowd for their game against Houston on Saturday was sparse even by those low standards. With the Falcons playing host to the Packers in an NFL playoff game an hour after the start of the Hawks' game, most of the fans and excitement were at the nearby Georgia Dome.

"It may be a case tonight where, especially at the start, that we are going to have to generate our own energy," Hawks coach Larry Drew said before the game. "That's just the way it is. We can hope that we get a crowd out there at the start of every game that will get our players pumped up and jacked up and motivated to play. But the [reality] is that's not always going to be the case, so we have to learn to generate our own energy, particularly at the start of the game."

The Hawks didn't seem fazed by the hushed building while racing to a 26-17 lead. The Falcons' game kicked off at about the same time as the Hawks and Rockets began the second half.

"I always support the hometown teams," Hawks guard Jamal Crawford said. "So I will look up [at the scoreboard] and check on the Falcons."

Williams still out

Hawks forward Marvin Williams (back) sat out the seventh consecutive game.

"He did say it's feeling better, but still doesn't have a timetable when he's going to return," Drew said. "He's shooting jump shots now, leaving his feet and taking a pounding. That's a good sign for me. Before he was shooting all set shots, looks like he's moving around a little bit better."

Etc.

Rockets coach Rick Adelman on the Hawks' request (denied by Houston) to move the game's start to avoid conflicting with the Falcons' game: "Yeah, right." The Rockets lost to New Orleans on Friday night. ... The Hawks entered the game with a league-high 13 misses on technical-foul free throws. ... The Hawks had been called for 23 technical fouls this season, second fewest in the NBA (Oklahoma City had 22).