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NBA notebook: Hawks fire Lloyd Pierce as coach following disappointing start

Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, left, talks with official Josh Tiven during a game against the Heat in Miami on Sunday. Pierce was fired on Monday. [AP Photo/Lynne Sladky]
Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, left, talks with official Josh Tiven during a game against the Heat in Miami on Sunday. Pierce was fired on Monday. [AP Photo/Lynne Sladky]

Hawks fire Pierce as coach

Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce was fired on Monday following a disappointing start to a season of heightened expectations.

Hawks president Travis Schlenk announced the move in a short statement released by the team.

The Hawks are 14-20 and 11th in the Eastern Conference, following a 109-99 loss at Miami on Sunday night. The teams play again in Miami on Tuesday.

“We would like to thank Lloyd for his work and commitment to not only the Hawks organization but the city of Atlanta," Schlenk said in the statement.

Schlenk said the move, which comes less than a week before Atlanta hosts the All-Star Game, is timed to help the team enjoy a second-half resurgence.

“We have high expectations for our team on the court and we believe by making this change now that we can have a strong second half of the season,” Schlenk said.

Pierce, hired in 2018, was 63-120 (.344) with the Hawks, missing the playoffs in each of his two completed seasons.

Report: Bulls center Joakim Noah to retire

Joakim Noah, whose game helped usher in the era of versatility for big men in today's NBA, is "effectively" retiring from basketball, The Athletic reported Monday.

Noah, who turned 36 last week, spent the first nine nine seasons of his career with the Chicago Bulls and it is expected he will retire as a member of the organization, according to The Athletic.

Chicago drafted Noah ninth overall in the 2007 draft out of the University of Florida. With the Bulls, he first served as a complement to Derrick Rose, but became more of a focal point under coach Tom Thibodeau after Rose injured his knee and never returned to MVP form.

He was a two-time All-Star and won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2014.

Late Sunday

HORNETS 127, KINGS 126: PJ Washington scored a career-high 42 points, Malik Monk converted a three-point play with 1.4 seconds remaining and Charlotte stunned Sacramento with a late rally Sunday night. Monk finished with 21 points to help Charlotte come back despite playing without leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who sat out with a hand injury.

SUNS 118, TIMBERWOLVES 99: Devin Booker scored 21 of his season-high 43 points in the third quarter to carry Phoenix in a victory over Minnesota on Sunday night, the 14th win for the Suns in their last 17 games. Booker made 15 of 26 shots from the floor to hit the 40-point mark for the 13th time in his six-year career and help the Suns overcome a sluggish start against the NBA's worst team.

LAKERS 117, WARRIORS 91: LeBron James scored 19 points in his 1,300th regular-season appearance as Los Angeles routed Golden State. He was one of six Los Angeles players to score in double figures in a game that was never in doubt.

GRIZZLIES 133, ROCKETS 84: Justise Winslow scored 20 points and Memphis pounded Houston on Sunday night for the Rockets’ 11th straight loss. In just his fourth game back after missing more than a year because of a hip injury, Winslow — playing in his hometown — had his best scoring night since October 2019.

CELTICS 111, WIZARDS 110: Jayson Tatum made two twisting, driving baskets in the final 15 seconds and finished with 31 points Sunday night, leading Boston to a comeback victory over Washington despite Bradley Beal's 46 points. Kemba Walker scored 21 for the Celtics, and Daniel Theis had 20 points and nine rebounds.

KNICKS 109,PISTONS 90: Julius Randle scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half and New York moved above .500 with a victory over Detroit on Sunday night. At 18-17, the Knicks have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference and have won seven of their last nine games.

HEAT 109, HAWKS 99: Kendrick Nunn scored 24 points, Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Miami extended the NBA’s longest current winning streak to six games by beating Atlanta on Sunday night. Previous Achiuwa had 14 points in 12 minutes for Miami.

Wire reports