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Childress helps Hawks hand Celtics fifth straight defeat

Jan 15, 2007 - 11:19 PM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Hawks had just too many Joshes for the Boston Celtics.

Josh Childress had season highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds and high-flying Josh Smith added 18 points and season-best seven blocks as the Hawks posted a 100-96 triumph over the undermanned Celtics.

Atlanta (12-23) has put together wins for the first time since a season-high four-game winning streak from November 3-10. It had endured three losing streaks of at least four games during that stretch.

The 23-year-old Childress has been impressive in his last three outings, averaging 20 points and nine rebounds. On Monday, he connected on career-best 10 baskets.

"The ball kind of just found me," Childress said. "I don't know how I was doing it. Rebounds fell into my hands and I got some open looks and knocked them down."

"He's been pretty good for us," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.

A native of nearby College Park, Smith is playing in his second game after missing eight games with hernia surgery. He also had a career-high five steals.

"It's also good to see Josh Smith back and the four core guys, playing together, trying to feel their way," Woodson said. "Because they haven't had that many opportunities to do that."

The Celtics trailed by as many as 14 points before rookie Allan Ray drained two straight 3-pointers during a 12-2 burst, tying the game at 82-82 with 7:03 remaining.

Smith scored on a layup and dunk to help the Hawks grab a 98-93 edge with 1:08 left. Boston's Gerald Green responded with a shot from the arc on the following play to make it an one-point contest.

Al Jefferson blocked Zaza Pachulia's layup with 20 seconds left, giving Boston a chance to tie or take the lead. But Childress snuffed Green's 3-pointer out of bounds off the shooter with three seconds to go, sealing the win.

"It was just timing," Childress said. "I knew he was going to come off and shoot. It was just a matter of me getting there on time."

"That was a good defensive play by Childress," said Green, who scored 22 points. "I didn't set the play up right. I came off too anxious, and he got a great block. I felt like if he didn't get that block, we would have won the game."

Joe Johnson scored 18 points and Pachulia chipped in 12 off the bench for the Hawks, who shot 49 percent (39-of-79) from the floor. Pachulia did not start due to an ankle sprain.

Ray scored a season-high 22 points and Jefferson collected 18 and 17 rebounds for Boston, which dropped its fifth straight game overall and has lost three of its four meetings with Atlanta.

The Celtics surrendered 32 points off 20 turnovers.

"It's just coming down to mistakes we're making that are adding up and costing us games," Jefferson said. "We had 20 turnovers and they scored 32 points off them, and we only lost by four, so that's makes an even tougher loss."

Boston fell to just 2-11 without injured All-Star forward Paul Pierce, who averages nearly 27 points per game but remains sidelined with a left foot stress reaction.

The Celtics were able to dress just nine players due largely because of injuries to Wally Szczerbiak (ankle), Delonte West (lower back) and Tony Allen (season-ending knee surgery).

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