USA TODAY Sports
Josh Smith returned from injury and posted a near triple-double to help the Atlanta Hawks to a 107-94 win over the Phoenix Suns.
The Atlanta Hawks took care of business Friday night as they won their second straight game with a 107-94 win over the Phoenix Suns. The win moves the Hawks at least temporarily into fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta's strengths were on full display against the Suns. The Hawks showed off their touch from beyond the arc hitting 12-23 attempts, got on the break for 29 fast break points and racked up 27 assists on 41 made field goals in the game. If Larry Drew has anything to complain about it was that his team turned the ball over 20 times which led to 28 points for the Suns and enabled them to hang around longer than they should have.
One thing Drew was happy about was the return of Josh Smith and Jeff Teague to the Atlanta lineup. Smith returned to the starting lineup and finished with a team-high 17 points on 8-14 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and seven assists. Jeff Teague was a late scratch from the starting lineup but played 22 minutes off the bench finishing with eight points and four assists. Both players sat out Wednesday's win over the Los Angles Lakers.
Atlanta jumped out to a 27-23 lead at the end of the first and extended it to 57-46 at the intermission. Devin Harris started in place of Teague and scored all 15 of his points in the first half. Harris and Smith set the tone early and the Hawks continued to pull away in the second half under a barrage of three-point baskets.
Al Horford had a rare tough shooting night but still finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Korver also finished with 16 and went 4-5 from three-point range. DeShawn Stevenson added 12 points while Teague and John Jenkins finished with eight apiece off the bench.
The Hawks had a difficult time slowing down Goran Dragic who scored a game-high 21 points on 7-12 shooting. Jermaine O'Neal added 15 points while Markieff Morris finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Phoenix hit 44 percent of its field goal attempts but were just 3-19 from downtown.
The win jumps Atlanta from seventh place to fifth at least temporarily depending on the outcome of Chicago's game against Golden State. The Hawks entered the day in a three-way tie with the Bulls and the Boston Celtics.