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Hawks beat Pacers for third straight victory

AP - Sports
Hawks beat Pacers for third straight victory

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Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson, left, shoots over Indiana Pacers center Lou Amundson in the first …

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Atlanta Hawks are back on track, and Josh Smith is a big reason.

Smith had 27 points and nine rebounds, leading the Hawks to their third straight victory, 101-96 over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

''Josh has been on a roll as of late,'' coach Larry Drew said. ''We've been going through him offensively and defensively. He's been an anchor for us. Tonight I felt he played another phenomenal ball game. He was just solid.''

Smith scored 13 points in the first quarter, 11 in the third, and fell three points shy of his season high. He passed the credit onto his teammates.

''It's great when your teammates lift you up,'' Smith said. ''That really helped in the third and fourth quarter. We're coming together and figuring out a way to win ball games.''

Jannero Pargo had 16 points, while Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia each scored 12 for the Hawks.

David West scored a season-high 24 points for the Pacers, who have lost two straight. Danny Granger had 19 points and eight rebounds, and George Hill scored 15 points off the bench for Indiana.

''They kept us off balance with good ball movement and we couldn't seem to adjust to their schemes,'' West said. ''We just weren't able to figure them out in the time to stop them.''

The Hawks led by as much as 16 points in the first half, but Granger's 3-pointer tied it at 62.

West's basket gave Indiana its last lead at 71-69 before Williams answered with a 3-pointer.

The Hawks outrebounded the Pacers 45-37 and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds.

The Pacers returned home after losing Monday to the Chicago Bulls on the road, 92-72, snapping a season-best, six-game winning streak.

''We didn't defend the 3 well and didn't do a good enough job on the defensive glass,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. ''It cost us the game. I don't think we were ourselves the last two games.''

The Hawks visit Miami on Wednesday.

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