for this game

Smith leads injury-ravaged Hawks to win in season finale

Apr 18, 2007 - 3:46 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks found solace at the end of a frustrating season.

Smith scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and all five starters scored in double figures as the Hawks posted a 118-102 victory over the Indiana Pacers in their season finale.

Tyronn Lue added 25 points and eight assists and Marvin Williams had 23 points and seven rebound for the Hawks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Atlanta finished off its eighth straight losing season, one that was plagued by injuries. The Hawks were without Joe Johnson for the final 21 games, and have been without Josh Childress and five other key players in the last month.

"We just wanted to play hard together and try to get a win to end the season," Smith said. "We had fun out there today. It felt really good to get a win. We didn't have anything to play for. We came out and played as hard as we could."

"It's definitely the way we wanted to go out," Lue said. "It was a great win for us. I think the guys came out and played like professionals today. It's always good to win the last game, going home."

Ike Diogu scored 20 points and Danny Granger added 15 for the Pacers, who missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

Indiana was eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday's 111-107 loss to the New Jersey Nets. All-Star forward Jermaine O'Neal sat out the season finale because of nagging knee and ankle injuries. The Pacers finish off the season by hosting the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

In a lost season, the Hawks saved their best for last. Atlanta shot 80 percent (16-of-20) in the first quarter and scored season highs of 41 points in the first quarter and 76 in the first half.

"Our undoing was the first quarter, when we gave up 80-percent shooting and 41 points," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "From that point on, it was just too deep a hole. I was disappointed in our first quarter. In the first quarter, we took a step back and we have to remedy that for tomorrow."

With Indiana trailing, 81-59, Granger scored 11 points of his 15 points in a 21-9 run that ended the third quarter and made the score 90-80. The Pacers outscored the Hawks, 28-14, in the third to climb back in the game.

However, the Hawks responded with a 10-4 run to go up 98-84 and the Pacers never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.

"They scored way too many points in the first half," Granger said. "We cut it to 10 later in the game, but it was too much to overcome."

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