Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hornets’ streak ends with loss at Atlanta

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Al Harrington scored 24 points and Joe Johnson
added 20 in Atlanta’s 101-93 victory over New Orleans/Oklahoma City at Philips

Tyronn Lue contributed 15 points, Josh Smith scored 12 and Marvin Williams
had 11 for the Hawks, who have won back-to-back contests after losing four

“We figured out a way to win,” Smith said. “In these last two wins, if you
look at the assists we had in those games, they were kind of high. The best
thing you can do is just pass the ball and get everybody involved and we’ll
win games.’

The Hawks had 17 assists in Saturday’s game after compiling 22 in a 103-98 win
at Boston Friday night.

The Hornets, who played without rookie guard Chris Paul, were led by Speedy
Claxton’s career-high 29 points. David West had 22 points and nine rebounds,
but the Hornets had a three-game winning streak broken and lost their fourth
consecutive road game.

This was the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On
November 18th, Paul scored 25 points and hit five foul shots late in the
game, as the Hornets let a 26-point fourth-quarter lead slip away before
holding on to defeat Atlanta, 95-92. However, Paul was in street clothes for
Saturday night’s game with a torn ligament in his right thumb. He was hurt in
Friday night’s 90-80 victory over Portland.

Claxton left the game briefly early in the second quarter with a dislocated
left ring finger after an attempted steal by an Atlanta player.

“I went to brace myself for the fall and it just got twisted up,” Claxton
said. “It’s tough the second night on a back-to-back.”

Atlanta led 27-24 after one quarter and 57-53 at the half. The Hawks then used
a small 8-2 spurt in the third quarter to extend to a 69-60 cushion. Smith
started the run with a jam and ended it with two free throws.

A Salim Stoudamire running jumper moved Atlanta to an 82-72 lead going into
the fourth. The Hornets were able to get as close as four points, as two foul
shots from West made it 91-87 with 4:43 remaining.

However, Johnson countered with a three-pointer, and five straight Atlanta
points later moved the lead to 101-91. Harrington’s jumper capped that push
with 2:19 to play.

Game Notes

The home team has won 10 of the last 12 meetings in the series…The Hornets
have lost six of their last eight at Atlanta…The Hawks shot 52.8 percent,
compared to 44.7 percent for New Orleans/Oklahoma City…Atlanta missed just
one of 20 free throws.