Atlanta, GA – Joe Johnson went 6-of-8 from three-point range high 34 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 102-88 victory over the Washington Wizards at Philips Arena on Friday.
Josh Smith filled the stat sheet with 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Zaza Pachulia tallied 10 points, 10 boards and a career-high seven assists for Atlanta, who tallied its eighth straight victory over Washington at home.
Washington, which was without newly-acquired big man Nene, got 18 points and nine rebounds from Trevor Booker. John Wall added 14 points, seven boards and nine assists, but turned the ball over nine times as the Wizards dropped to 1-3 on their current six-game road trip.
"We were two totally different teams that first and second half," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. "You can't be one team one half and come out in the second half and do what we did from an offensive standpoint."
The Wizards jumped out early as they quickly led 11-3 just over four minutes into the game, but Johnson buried three three-pointers en route to 15 points in the frame to give the Hawks a 30-26 lead after the first.
A Jannero Pargo triple increased the Hawks' lead to seven but Washington responded with consecutive threes to spark a 17-4 surge, giving the visitors a 47-41 edge with 4:23 left in the second stanza.
Wall finished the half with 10 points, seven assists, and five rebounds as his mid-range jumper with under a second left gave the Wizards a 54-50 advantage heading into the locker room.
Washington struggled from the field in the third, shooting 23.8 percent (5- of-21) as its four-point halftime edge transformed into a 71-64 deficit heading into the fourth.
Four different Hawks connected from long range in the third as they outscored the Wizards 21-10 overall to take a seven-point lead into the final frame.
"We came in and probably were a little flat early on," said Smith about his team trailing at the intermission. "We we finally found our stride and we were able to play some defense in the second half to create such a large deficit."
Washington pulled within six on a Roger Mason Jr. jumper with 7:32 to play, but Atlanta reeled off the next 11 to press the lead to 17 and the Wizards never threatened again.
Atlanta will travel to Cleveland on Sunday, while the Wizards will visit Memphis on Sunday before wrapping up their trek on Wednesday in New Jersey...In acquiring Nene, Washington parted ways with forwards JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf. In another deadline deal, the Wizards sent guard Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers for forward Brian Cook and a future second- round pick.