New Orleans, LA – Josh Smith stuffed the stat sheet on Tuesday, posting 23 points and 13 rebounds to go with seven assists, four blocks and three steals as the Atlanta Hawks knocked off the New Orleans Hornets, 95-86, at New Orleans Arena.
Al Horford posted 20 points on 10-of-17 shooting and Kyle Korver drained four three-pointers en route to 14 points for the Hawks, who have won five of their last six. Zaza Pachulia added 12 points and 10 boards in the victory.
"I thought Josh Smith really set the tone in the second half," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "He was absolutely phenomenal, every physical play where the ball was involved he was there. He did it on both ends of the floor."
Ryan Anderson hit 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and finished with a team-high 23 points, while Greivis Vasquez netted 17 points and handed out 10 assists for New Orleans, which has lost 13 of its last 15 games.
Anthony Davis ripped down 13 rebounds to go with nine points and Eric Gordon contributed 11 points in the loss.
Trailing, 84-79, with 5:51 to play, Robin Lopez scored an easy layup and Vasquez split a pair from the free throw line around a Smith miss to cut the deficit to 84-82 with 4:14 left.
Korver, however, had an answer for the Hawks, draining a clutch 3-ball to push the lead back to five. Vasquez made it a one-possession game again courtesy of a floater with 3:21 remaining, but again the visitors had an answer as Smith took a pass underneath and slammed it home for an 89-84 lead.
Anderson netted a layup to cut it to 89-86 with 2:44 to go, but the hosts would not score again as the Hawks pulled away by netting the game's final six points.
"I don't think it was a tale of two different halves, but the third quarter was below average for us," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "We just didn't have execution and didn't play with a lot of force tonight."
The home side held a 26-22 advantage after one quarter, and Jason Smith canned a 17-footer less than three minutes into the second to give the Hornets a 31-24 lead. But Atlanta answered by scoring the next eight points, and Josh Smith capped the run with a layup to give the Hawks a 32-31 edge with 5:53 to play before the break.
It remained a one-possession game for the next few minutes until a trey by Roger Mason Jr. gave the hosts a 40-34 lead with 3:06 on the clock, and the Hornets held a 50-44 margin at halftime.
Davis got on the end of an alley-oop pass from Austin Rivers and slammed it down to give New Orleans a 53-44 lead less than a minute into the second half, but the Hawks battled back with a 15-2 burst to grab a 59-55 lead with 5:55 on the third-quarter clock.
Neither side led by more than four for the rest of the frame until the Hawks pulled away a bit in the latter stages. Holding a 66-64 lead with 2:22 left, Atlanta scored the final six points of the session to lead 72-64 heading into the final quarter.
New Orleans fell to 3-13 at home this season ... The game featured five lead changes and three ties ... The Hawks won the battle inside, outscoring New Orleans, 50-44 in the paint ... The Hornets shot 10-of-20 from 3-point range, but hit just 4-of-12 free throw attempts ... Atlanta shot 49.4 percent from the floor.