The Hawks won two of three games over their recent stretch and knocked off sizzling Chicago by a 109-94 score on Saturday from Philips Arena. The Bulls had won six in a row before Atlanta grabbed a 29-point lead in the third quarter thanks to an all-around effort by Josh Smith. Smith had 25 points, six blocks, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in the Hawks' third victory over the past five contests.
"It was a great team effort," Smith said. "The starters got us off to a good start and the bench players followed."
Joe Johnson and Vladimir Radmanovic each had 17 points, while Al Horford and Jeff Teague tallied 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the win. Hawks forward Marvin Williams suffered a sprained ankle in the game and is questionable for tonight's tilt in New Jersey. Atlanta shot a season-best 56.6 percent from the field Saturday and sank 9-of-12 shots from beyond the arc.
Atlanta will also visit Indiana and is 3-2 as the guest this season.
New Jersey was able to snap a six-game slide with Friday's win at Toronto, but fell back into the loss column with a 101-90 setback versus Miami the following night.
Kris Humphries ended with 25 points and 12 boards for the Nets, who are 2-7 on the young season and 0-3 at home. MarShon Brooks and Anthony Morrow had 12 and 11 points, respectively, in defeat. The Nets were hoping Heat star LeBron James wouldn't play after he sat out Thursday's game against the Hawks, but the star pumped in 32 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
"We turn the ball over, and he's gone," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said of James. "He is a combination of a tight end, wide receiver [and] running back once he gets two or three steps on you."
Deron Williams had 10 points and 10 assists in defeat. New Jersey center Mehmet Okur (back) and forward Damion James (foot) missed the game. Okur is expected to miss tonight's contest and James is out indefinitely.
After hosting the Hawks, the Nets will hit the road for four games against the Nuggets, Suns, Jazz and Clippers. Humphries is averaging 13.3 points and a team-best 11.1 rebounds in seven starts.
Atlanta has beaten the Nets twice already this season and is riding a three- game winning streak in this series. The Hawks, though, have dropped 16 of their previous 19 contests in New Jersey.