Smith, Crawford lead Hawks past NetsDec 8, 2010 - 3:46 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith scored a season-high 34 points in Atlanta's 116-101 victory over New Jersey at Philips Arena.
Jamal Crawford added a season-best 26 for Atlanta, which has won seven of its last eight games. Al Horford posted a double-double of 24 points and 10 boards in the win, while adding six assists.
"Josh Smith was excellent again tonight," said Hawks head coach Larry Drew. "He played with a lot of energy and made some nice plays. His jump shot was really falling."
Atlanta shot 60.3 percent from the field in the win.
Brook Lopez had 24 points to lead the slumping Nets, who have dropped 10 of their last 12 games. Devin Harris added 18 points and 13 assists in the loss.
"It was another game where we sustained our effort," Lopez said. "We came out with good effort, sustained it for the most part except for a little second quarter lull... We ended the half poorly. Obviously, that hurt us. We were playing catch up the entire game."
Nearly six minutes into the second half, a Smith block set up a 2-on-1 break that Crawford finished with baseline jumper to give Atlanta a 70-57 edge.
Jordan Farmar's three-pointer late in the quarter had New Jersey within nine, but two Horford baskets within the final minute -- including a buzzer-beater from the left elbow -- gave the Hawks an 83-71 advantage moving to the fourth.
The Nets battled to remain in striking distance, though, and were within 102-97 on Anthony Morrow' trey with 3:24 to go. But Horford followed with two makes, and Atlanta scored the final eight points to secure the win.
Lopez scored 11 points in the first 12 minutes, highlighted by back-to-back jumpers to put the Nets up 14-8. New Jersey still led late in the quarter, but Atlanta closed the period with eight consecutive points. Zaza Pachulia followed his missed free throw attempt with a putback basket with 3.7 seconds on the clock, giving the Hawks a 27-26 edge.
The Hawks took a commanding lead thanks to a 15-point run late in the first half. Smith started the streak with a driving layup, and Crawford hit a long fadeaway jumper at the 3:35 mark for a 45-44 Atlanta lead -- its first since the start of the quarter. Crawford ended the spurt with two free throws, making it a 55-44 game with 1:31 left.
Smith drained a three-pointer with 10 seconds left, but Harris hit 1-of-2 from the line to get the Nets within 60-47 heading into the locker room.
Atlanta is 4-1 since losing Joe Johnson, who is expected to be sidelined at least three more weeks after undergoing arthroscopic elbow surgery last week...New Jersey is just 2-10 as the visitor this year...The Hawks have won four straight home games against the Nets...New Jersey shot 46.5 percent...Mike Bibby had 11 points in the win.
- NEW JERSEY: 101
Dec 7 9:30 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 71
End of 3rd
Dec 7 8:50 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 47
Dec 7 8:07 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 26
End of 1st
Dec 7 7:35 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Dec 7 7:12 PM
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