PHOENIX – Josh Smith matched his season high with 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to rally the Atlanta Hawks to a 101-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Smith, whose career best is 32, had 20 points and 12 rebounds in the second half as Atlanta snapped a two-game skid and won for only the third time in eight games.
Steve Nash, back after a night off as the Suns played their third game in three days, had 22 points and 16 assists. Grant Hill, who also sat out Tuesday night in a loss at Denver, scored 18 points for Phoenix.
Willie Green added 20 for Atlanta, including 4 of 6 3-pointers.
Joe Johnson, hounded by Hill all night, scored just six points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Atlanta trailed throughout, and by 15 early in the second half, until what amounted to a four-point play with 7:38 remaining. Smith scored on a drive, was fouled and referee Tre Maddox called Nash for a technical. Nash was incredulous afterward but the official ignored him and walked away. Johnson made the technical, and Smith added his free throw to put the Hawks ahead 82-81. That started a 10-0 run that put Atlanta up 88-81 on Green's fast-break layup with 6:27 remaining.
Green's 3 put the Hawks ahead 98-89 with 2:17 to go. Nash drove the lane, then somehow flipped the ball over his head with just enough spin on it for a layup while being fouled. The three-point play cut it to 98-95 with 42.9 seconds to go. The Suns got the ball back after Johnson's miss and Nash found Channing Frye open for what would have been the tying 3-pointer from the top of the key. But he missed and the Hawks escaped from there.
The Suns, 0-3 in their stretch of three games in three nights, took the lead with an early 14-0 run that put them up 31-17 on Michael Redd's three-point play with 1:13 left in the third quarter. The Hawks, coming off a loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, went 5:40 without a point during Phoenix's outburst.
Atlanta twice cut it to two points in the second quarter, the last time at 42-40 when Zaza Pachulia sank a 15-footer with 5 1/2 minutes left. Nash and Frye followed with 3-pointers to boost the lead to 48-40 and Phoenix led 56-47 at the break.
The Suns scored the first six, the last two on Gortat's layup on a pass from Nash, to lead 62-47. The Hawks responded with six straight to cut it to nine. Phoenix's offense went cold the rest of the period, and a pair of 3s by Smith, the last with 36.9 seconds left in the period, cut the lead to 76-71. Smith's rebound basket with six seconds left cut the Suns' advantage to four at 77-73 entering the final quarter.
Nash went down hard on the court with 4:41 to play in the third quarter and came up limping, but walked it off during a timeout and stayed in the game.
Notes: The teams split the season series 1-1. The Hawks haven't won a series against the Suns since 1999, when the teams played only once. ... Atlanta is 7-10 when Johnson scores fewer than 20 points. ... The Suns committed 20 turnovers to Atlanta's 14.