"That just shows the growth of our team," Smith said. "When our superstar is not having a good night, the three of us can lift the team up."
Williams scored 24 points, Smith and Childress each had 23, and Atlanta ended a three-game losing streak with a 104-92 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.
The Hawks, who had dropped seven of eight, used a quick transition game to outscore New Jersey 16-7 on fast-break points in the second half.
"When we run, we're at our best," Smith said. "We got the lead and we kept the same momentum."
"We just had too many defensive breakdowns tonight, but you have to give the Hawks credit because they played well," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We just couldn't seem to close the gap."
The Hawks led by double digits for most of the second half. With 6:42 remaining, Vince Carter dribbled past Johnson on the left side, but Smith, the NBA's second-leading shot blocker, deflected the ball off the backboard for an Atlanta rebound.
Ten seconds later, Smith's finger-roll layup made it 93-80. Childress' three-point play with 2:21 left pushed the lead to 100-86 after he drove the right side and dunked over Carter.
"Even with the Hawks having all five starters in double figures, it was our lack of effort that caused us to lose tonight," Carter said after scoring 14 points and handing out a season-high 10 assists. "When you allow a team to score 50-plus points in the paint, it's going to be difficult to win."
Atlanta, which ended a four-game losing streak against the Nets, was coming off a 1-4 road trip that seemed to sap players' energy. Childress thought the Hawks benefited from having the last two nights off.
"It's good to be back home," Childress said. "We were on the road for 10 days. We made shots and we got anything we wanted pretty much offensively. That led to a lot of layups, dunks and free throws."
Johnson finished with 10 points, more than 11 under his average, but Atlanta coach Mike Woodson was pleased to run the offense through Williams, Smith and Childress.
"I don't think everything is designed for Joe Johnson," Woodson said. "I've said this all along, that when Josh Smith, Marvin and Childress play at a level like they did tonight, we're going to have a great chance at winning games. I thought all three tonight were unbelievable."
New Jersey's Jason Kidd was just 2-for-9 from the field, but his 10 rebounds moved him into second place on the NBA career list of rebounds by a guard. He began the game with 6,672 rebounds, tied with Michael Jordan, and surpassed Clyde Drexler for second place. Oscar Robertson leads the list with 7,804.
|Josh Childress throws down two of his 23 points as Richard Jefferson can only watch. (Getty Images)|
|New Jersey (20-27)||18||20||26||28||92|
|Atlanta (19-24) «||25||30||24||25||104|
|NJ:R. Jefferson 23 Pts
NJ:J. Kidd 10 Reb
NJ:V. Carter 10 Ast
|ATL:M. Williams 24 Pts
ATL:J. Smith 8 Reb
ATL:A. Law 8 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Joe Johnson Hawks #2 Net Number Player T-Shirt - Red Shop Now!
|J. Boone, PF||40||6-7||2-2||5||2||1||14|
|R. Jefferson, SF||39||9-18||4-4||4||2||3||23|
|J. Kidd, PG||38||2-9||0-0||10||7||2||5|
|V. Carter, SG||31||5-12||4-4||2||10||5||14|
|J. Collins, C||10||1-2||0-0||2||1||2||2|
|B. Nachbar, SF||25||6-8||3-6||4||0||1||16|
|A. Wright, SF||22||3-5||3-3||1||1||3||9|
|M. Williams, PG||15||0-2||0-0||2||5||3||0|
|S. Williams, PF||11||3-4||0-0||2||0||0||6|
|D. Armstrong, PG||8||1-3||0-0||0||0||1||3|
|N. Krstic, C||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|J. Magloire, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Allen, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|J. Smith, SF||39||9-14||5-6||8||5||1||23|
|M. Williams, SF||38||9-19||6-6||7||5||3||24|
|J. Johnson, SG||38||4-15||2-2||2||3||3||10|
|A. Horford, PF||32||6-10||2-2||7||0||3||14|
|A. Johnson, PG||21||3-5||0-0||3||2||3||6|
|J. Childress, SG||35||10-11||3-4||6||4||3||23|
|A. Law, PG||21||0-1||0-0||0||8||0||0|
|T. Lue, PG||9||2-6||0-0||1||1||0||4|
|Z. Pachulia, C||7||0-2||0-0||4||0||1||0|
|L. Wright, C||Did Not Play|
|S. Claxton, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Stoudamire, SG||Did Not Play|
|S. Jones, PF||Did Not Play|
|S. Williams, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. West, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|