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Smith leads Atlanta to second straight win

Mar 10, 2007 - 5:20 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Josh Smith is taking over for the injured Joe Johnson.

Smith scored 20 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 106-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Smith hit a layup to tie the score at 105-105 and was fouled on the play by Mike Miller with 11 seconds remaining. Smith hit the ensuing free throw to provide the winning margin.

"Every day before shootaround and practice, me and Tyronn (Lue) and Tyrone Hill, the assistant coach, we make at least 50 free throws a day," Smith said. "When I stepped up to the line I felt confident. It's clutch (time). It's a lot of pressure"

Atlanta looked like it had the game in hand with a 95-88 lead with 5:35 remaining before Miller capped a 13-6 run with a 3-pointer to tie the game, 101-101, with 2:28 to play.

"Our coach told us that Memphis plays hard," Atlanta forward Marvin Williams said. "Their record doesn't show the kind of team they are. So we knew they were going to fight back. We were able to keep our lead and pull out the win."

After Damon Stoudamire's jumper gave Memphis the lead, 105-103, with 28 seconds left, Smith came through to hand the Grizzlies their sixth straight loss.

"We'll take it anyway we can get it," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "They were able to really make a game out of it. You really have to give them a lot of credit as well."

Miller led Memphis with 29 points but center Pau Gasol was held to just 10 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes because of foul trouble.

"It was hard to watch the game from the bench during the third quarter," Gasol said. "The other guys were out there doing their job."

Atlanta has now won two in a row without the services of All-Star Joe Johnson who may miss the rest of the season with a calf contusion.

Williams and Josh Childress scored 17 points apiece for the Hawks.

"It was Marvin and Chills (Childress) early in the game, and I thought in the second half, Josh Smith really made an impact on the game, especially on the defensive end," Woodson said. "He got some key blocks and key rebounds, and he had the big putback and free throw at the end to put us over the top."

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