Smith stars as Hawks end road woes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Josh Smith tied career-bests with 21 points
and 15 rebounds and Atlanta finally got a road victory over a Western
Conference team after downing the Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 at the Staples
The Hawks also received huge contributions from Joe Johnson and Josh Childress
to break a 23-game road losing streak against the West, dating back to
November 12, 2004.
Childress added 21 points off the bench while Johnson compiled 20 points and a
personal-best 15 assists for the Hawks, who won for just the fifth time away
from home (5-20) this season and headed into the All-Star break on a positive
Kobe Bryant finished with 39 points and nine assists in the loss, the Lakers’
third in four outings. Lamar Odom and Devean George had 17 and 16 points,
respectively, in defeat.
Atlanta trailed 86-83 early in the fourth quarter before surging ahead with an
11-1 run. Smith broke a tie game with a basket just over two minutes into the
period and Childress drove the lane and scored seconds later to give the Hawks
a 90-86 lead.
The Lakers went more than five minutes without a field goal until Bryant’s
putback with 7:33 cut the deficit to 94-89. However, Childress buried a three-
pointer shortly afterward to extend Atlanta’s cushion to eight.
The Hawks were up 101-92 with 4 1/2 minutes to go, but Los Angeles made a
strong late push to get back into it. Bryant and Brian Cook each had three-
point plays to jump start a 12-4 run, which ended when Lamar Odom drained a
triple with 2:05 to go to pull the Lakers within 105-104.
Atlanta’s Marvin Williams was then fouled after making a layup on the ensuing
possession and hit the bonus shot for a four-point edge. Johnson later made a
huge second-chance layup with his team up by two with just 22 seconds to play,
and Childress sealed the win by sinking two foul shots with one second on the
Los Angeles appeared to have the game in hand early on, as the Lakers reeled
off 11 straight points shortly after the opening whistle to grab a 20-8
Kwame Brown started the burst with a driving layup and added another basket
with 6:47 left in the first quarter to give LA a 17-8 lead. Cook capped the
flurry seconds later with a three-pointer to account for the double-digit
The Lakers ended the first quarter up 33-23, but the Hawks began the second
with a 12-3 spurt to tighten things. Johnson had the first seven points of the
run, which ended on a putback by Esteban Batista that brought Atlanta within
Los Angeles took a 57-53 lead into the break behind 21 points from Bryant, who
also dished out eight first-half assists.
Neither team was ahead by more than six points during the fourth quarter,
which culminated with the Lakers on top 84-83.
Atlanta’s last win over a Western Conference foe on the road was a 96-95
decision at New Orleans. The Hawks were 0-12 against the West away from home
this season…The teams split the season series, with LA earning a 103-97 win
at Atlanta on November 8. The Lakers haven’t swept the Hawks since the 1999-00
campaign…Lakers rookie Ronny Turiaf scored his first two NBA points after
making two free throws to end the third quarter…Johnson’s previous career-
high of 12 assists was set on November 12 against Memphis.