Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NBA: Smith scores 30, leads Hawks over Bobcats 104-92

BY STEVE REED

AP SPORTS WRITER

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Josh Smith had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a six-game road losing streak with a 104-92 win Wednesday night over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Kyle Korver added 21 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc as the Hawks sent the Bobcats to their 16th straight home loss, three shy of the NBA record.

Smith finished two assists shy of a triple-double. Ivan Johnson added 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Ramon Sessions led the Bobcats with a season-high 27 points. Kemba Walker, who had a career-high 35 points on Monday, was limited to 11 on 4-of-11 shooting.

The win gave the Hawks a four-game sweep of the season series and extended their overall winning streak to seven against the Bobcats.

Suiting up only 11 players because of injuries, the Hawks were forced to play their starters more than usual. Atlanta was missing Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams.

The Bobcats have not won at home since Nov. 21.

The Hawks led most of the way by a comfortable margin, although Charlotte did cut the lead to seven with 5:40 left. Johan Petro knocked down a 3-pointer and Smith hit a long jumper to keep the Bobcats at bay.

Charlotte never mounted another challenge after that.

The Hawks led by seven at halftime but quickly stretched that lead to 17 midway through the third quarter as Smith took control inside. When he wasn't scoring on jump shots or drives to the basket he was dishing to Korver, who continued to knock down shots.

Korver was 8 of 11 from the field and seemed to keep the Bobcats at bay every time they appeared poised to make a run.

Atlanta jumped out to a 53-46 lead at halftime behind the strong play of Smith and Korver, who set the tone early.

Smith was 8 of 11 from the field in the first half for 16 points while Korver went 4 of 5 on 3-pointers for 12 points as the Hawks shot 50 percent from the field. For the game, the Hawks shot 49 percent while the Bobcats hit 40 percent.

It was a rather sloppy game, with the teams combining for 37 turnovers.

The Bobcats continue to struggle to get balanced scoring production from their starters. In fact, their five starters barely outscored Smith with a combined 31 points. Ben Gordon had 15 off the bench for the Bobcats.

Charlotte's big men, Hakim Warrick, Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Adrien, combined for just 12 points, while Gana Diop and Tyrus Thomas didn't even play.

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