Smith leads Hawks past Nets

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ATLANTA — Josh Smith had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 93-84 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night.

Atlanta's Joe Johnson drives to the basket against New Jersey's Gerald Green during the second quarter.   DAVID GOLDMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAVID GOLDMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta's Joe Johnson drives to the basket against New Jersey's Gerald Green during the second quarter.

Jeff Teague had 17 points and six assists, Joe Johnson scored 16 and Kirk Hinrich added 14 for the Hawks. Atlanta won for the fourth time in five games to pull within four percentage points of Indiana, which lost 113-111 to Phoenix, for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Deron Williams scored 20 points and Kris Humphries added 17 for New Jersey, which has lost five in a row and seven of eight. The Nets’ 34 losses are fourth-most in the NBA.

Teague’s uncontested layup in Atlanta’s halfcourt offense gave the Hawks a nine-point lead, their biggest of the game, with 3:56 remaining.

After Anthony Morrow hit a 20-footer to bring the Nets within four, Smith answered with a left-handed hook over Humphries and hit two free throws on the next possession to put Atlanta up 88-80 with 2:05 to go.

The Nets went on a 16-2 run to end the third quarter with a 69-62 lead, but the Hawks never trailed after Johnson’s runner made it 74-73 with remaining in the game.

Atlanta’s Marvin Williams scored 11 points in 26 minutes after missing the Hawks’ past five games with a hip flexor.

Atlanta has won five in a row against New Jersey.

NOTES: Nets coach Avery Johnson said before the game that center Brook Lopez, who traveled with the team, will miss another two weeks with his sprained right ankle. Lopez has already been sidelined 11 consecutive games with the injury. He missed the first 32 games with a broken right foot. … Hawks center Al Horford hopes to return for the first round of the playoffs. Horford, who has missed the past 37 games after tearing his left pectoral, has yet to resume basketball activities but has been getting up a one-handed shot with his right arm.


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