Hawks top Nets, againJan 10, 2012 - 3:49 AM Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Josh Smith scored 26 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the New Jersey Nets for the third time this season, holding on for a 106-101 win Monday.
Joe Johnson added 22 points and Jeff Teague had 20 for the Hawks, who have won three in a row since their triple-overtime loss to Miami last Thursday.
Anthony Morrow scored 20 points to lead New Jersey. MarShon Brooks had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Deron Williams scored 15 with 14 assists, but the Nets fell to 2-8 this season.
Two of those losses came to Atlanta last month. Perhaps tired of losing to the same team, Nets coach Avery Johnson struggled to spit out the word he wanted to describe his team's start Monday night.
New Jersey shot just 29.4 percent in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 16.
"We just got off to such a lethargic start," said Johnson, tripping over the word lethargic.
"That's how bad it was," he said. "I can't even pronounce the word."
Still, the Nets made a game of it despite trailing by 12 points with under 2 1/2 minutes to play. Morrow had a three-pointer to cut the deficit to nine, while Williams and Morrow both hit threes minutes later to get the Nets within 104-101.
But there were just 4.2 seconds left and Johnson made two free throws at the other end to seal the Hawks' win and extend their winning streak to four games over New Jersey.
The Hawks shot better than 63 percent in the first quarter, holding New Jersey below 30 percent, and jumped out to a 31-18 lead behind 10 points from Smith. Atlanta carried a 56-45 lead into halftime and was ahead 80-71 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks beat the Nets 106-70 in their season opener on December 27 and 105-98 on December 30...New Jersey out-rebounded Atlanta 40-33 and shot 50 percent (11-for-22) from three-point range...The Hawks out-shot New Jersey 53.8 percent to 46.8.
- ATLANTA: 106
NEW JERSEY: 101
Jan 9 9:53 PM
- ATLANTA: 80
NEW JERSEY: 71
End of 3rd
Jan 9 9:14 PM
- ATLANTA: 56
NEW JERSEY: 45
Jan 9 8:36 PM
- ATLANTA: 31
NEW JERSEY: 18
End of 1st
Jan 9 8:05 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 9 7:41 PM
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