The Union Recorder

Local Sports

January 24, 2013

Smith scores 30, leads Hawks over Bobcats 104-92

(Continued)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

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. Ben Gordon added 15 points.

Suiting up only 10 players because of injuries, the Hawks were forced to play their starters more than usual. Atlanta was missing Horford, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Lou Williams and Anthony Morrow.

Hawks coach Larry Drew called it a good win for his club considered the team was so short-handed.

"Obviously with no Al Horford I was a little concerned about our big man play but that was answered tonight," Drew said. "I thought Ivan Johnson stepped in and did a phenomenal job. He was a presence on the floor. He scored. He rebounded the ball. He took a charge. He came in and gave us a big, big lift tonight."

The Hawks led most of the way by a comfortable margin, although Charlotte did cut the lead to seven with 5:40 left. That's when 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 Bobcats have not won at home since Nov. 21.

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, Smith was passing to Korver, who continued to knock down shots. Korver was 8 of 11 from the field and seemed to shatter the Bobcats' hopes every time they appeared poised to make a run.

"When Josh plays that type of game he is one of the best all-around players in this league," Sessions said. "You know he can post up, make passes and hit jump shots. He was playing well tonight from all aspects of the floor. He is tough to guard when he is like that because he is really a small forward but he can also post up so he is a tough matchup."

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