Atlanta, GA – Josh Smith poured in a game-high 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 104-95 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday.
Jeff Teague had 19 points and six assists while Al Horford added 14 points and 14 boards for the Hawks, who have won eight of their last nine. DeShawn Stevenson had 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point range.
"That was a really tough win for us. Since we've been here on this homestand, this is probably one of the most challenging games," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "Not to say the other games weren't challenging, but from a mental stand point this was a big challenge."
Kevin Seraphin dropped in a team-best 19 points and Bradley Beal netted 18 for the Wizards, who fell to an NBA-worst 2-14 this season.
Jordan Crawford and Nene added 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the setback.
"Our defense wasn't on the ball tonight, especially our help defense. We were just all over the place," Beal said. "We just weren't there mentally on defense and we can't use the excuse of being tired. We have to play again tomorrow night. It is all mental for us and you have to be mentally tough to overcome the adversity."
The Hawks led 31-19 after the first 12 minutes. Chris Singleton's jumper gave the Wizards a 10-9 lead with 6:49 to go in the period, but Atlanta used a 20-5 run over the next 4 1/2 minutes to go up 29-15. Washington scored the next four points, but Zaza Pachulia's putback with 2.7 seconds left gave the Hawks a 12-point lead.
Atlanta pushed its lead to 54-41 at the break. Crawford's reverse layup near the midway point of the second quarter pulled the Wizards within 41-33, but Atlanta scored the next five points to take a 13-point lead. A short 7-0 burst from the Wizards cut the deficit to 46-40 with 1:46 left in the first half, but the Hawks closed the frame on an 8-1 run to push their cushion back to 13.
The Wizards trailed 73-56 with just under five minutes left in the third quarter, but closed the period on a 15-7 run to go into the fourth down 80-71.
Washington continued to chip away at the deficit in the fourth, cutting it down to 91-89 with just over four minutes to play. Smith, though, buried a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to put the Hawks up 95-89 and Atlanta outscored the Wizards 9-6 the rest of the way to secure the win.
The Hawks outscored Washington 48-32 with points in the paint ... Atlanta is 7-3 at home ... The Wizards are 0-8 on the road this season