Johnson, Smith carry Hawks to fourth straight road winFeb 10, 2007 - 6:21 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Joe Johnson and Josh Smith gave the shorthanded Phoenix Suns all they could handle.
Johnson scored 17 of his 32 points and Smith added 25 and five blocks as the Atlanta Hawks posted a 120-111 triumph over the Suns, who were without two-time MVP Steve Nash.
The duo of Johnson and Smith combined to shoot 20-of-44 from the field, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, to help Atlanta end its five-game losing streak against Phoenix.
"It is a great win, I'm happy that we came in and beat a great team," Johnson said. "I know they were minus Nash but we have to take advantage of opportunities like that. We came in and got off to a slow start but we came out in the second half and put them away."
The Hawks (19-30) also have won four straight road games for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign.
Nash missed his second straight game with inflammation in his right shoulder. The Suns fell to 4-10 without him since his arrival in 2004.
Leandro Barbosa, who replaced Nash in the lineup, scored three of his 19 points when he drained a 3-pointer, giving Phoenix a 96-95 with 5:39 remaining.
But Johnson - a former Sun - and Smith made consecutive shots from the arc, sparking an impressive 11-1 burst as the Hawks took the lead for good, 106-97.
"We tried to control the tempo," Smith said. "We know they push the ball all the time so we got after them defensively and played aggressive, physical and got some stops. We knew they were going to make a run but we just didn't give up. We just rode Joe who had an awesome game."
Johnson is averaging 27.3 points in three games against his former club since being traded for Boris Diaw and two future first-round picks on August 19, 2005.
"I am very proud for Joe," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "It's not about Joe versus Phoenix, he's been playing great for us all year."
Josh Childress scored 19 points and Marvin Williams chipped in 16 and seven rebounds for Atlanta, which shot 51 percent (42-of-81) from the field and held a 40-30 edge in the fourth quarter.
All-Star Amare Stoudemire collected 29 points and 13 rebounds and Raja Bell scored 23 for the Suns, who dropped back-to-back home games for the second time this season.
"We played with fire and got burned," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.
"We are a team that has chance to win a title this year but we have to start now," Stoudemire said. "We gotta get that killer instinct. We got to put that team away. There are not nights off, there are no breaks."
PHOENIX 111 FINAL
Feb 9 11:44 PM
PHOENIX 81 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 9 10:54 PM
PHOENIX 45 HALFTIME
Feb 9 10:07 PM
PHOENIX 20 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 9 9:36 PM
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