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Minnesota at Atlanta

Hawks 98, Timberwolves 92

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- With some of his teammates struggling, Josh Smith made sure it didn't cost the Atlanta Hawks a game.

"I felt like my team needed energy," he said, "so I was trying to score in a lot of different ways."

Smith had a season-high 27 points, Joe Johnson added 21 and the Hawks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-92 on Wednesday night.

Al Horford finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who have won nine of 11 at home to improve to 22-6 at Philips Arena.

Atlanta, however, endured Jamal Crawford's worst shooting performance in 55 games. The valuable sixth man, whose 17.2 scoring average is the Hawks' second-best, missed all seven of his field-goal attempts, including four 3-pointers, and finished with one point.

Starting forward Marvin Williams, who has a 10.1 average, was 0 for 4 from the field, so Atlanta coach Mike Woodson gave Smith more responsibility.

"Fantastic game," Woodson said. "He was all over the place. He blocked some shots. He scored for us, made some free throws. He was solid from beginning to end, and we're going to need him the rest of the way."

Kevin Love had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota, stuck at five road wins -- tied with Sacramento for third-fewest in the league.

Atlanta, which won Monday night in Utah for the first time since 1993, took its biggest lead at 16 on Maurice Evans' three-point play late in the third.

"We did a good job getting back in the game," Timberwolves forward Al Jefferson said. "That's all good. We could be happy with that, but we had a chance to win the game. Unfortunately, we fell short. Turnovers killed us."

Ryan Hollins added 18 points for the Timberwolves, who have dropped seven of eight, and Ryan Gomes had 11. Jefferson and Corey Brewer each had 10.

The Timberwolves had hoped to win on the road for the second time in two nights, and they closed within two when Damien Wilkins' three-point play made it 78-76 with 10:14 remaining.

But nearly 2 minutes later, Smith took Horford's tip rebound on the right side and converted a three-point play to make it 85-80.

"We couldn't find a way to score and we were getting good looks," Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said. "I thought our defense was pretty good for most of the game. That's what really carried us, but as usual for us as a ball club, we were inconsistent. We were inconsistent with our effort, inconsistent with our defense, inconsistent with our offense."

Jefferson took little satisfaction in playing a competitive game against Atlanta after losing by 25 in Minneapolis on Dec. 22. The Timberwolves have dropped eight straight in the series.

"At the end of the day we still lost the game, so I can't be too excited about whether we lost to them by 20 or we lost to them by six," Jefferson said. "We still lost."

Smith credited the Hawks' fourth-quarter success with fighting harder for offensive rebounds and passing more accurately.

"We knew [Minnesota] would not stop playing," Smith said after combining with reserve center Zaza Pachulia for six offensive boards. "When it got to two points, we came together and held on."

Notes

The start of Atlanta's game Friday against Dallas has been moved from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate television. ... Smith's previous high this season was 24 in a Jan. 1 home loss to New York. ... Early in the second, Timberwolves G Wayne Ellington was called for a flagrant foul on Atlanta rookie G Jeff Teague. Teague hit the ensuing two free throws to give the Hawks a 25-21 lead. ... Horford took his usual rest early in the fourth, but he didn't leave the game late in third despite hitting the back of his head on the backboard and falling backward to the floor. He was fouling Hollins on the play.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Scoreboard
Minnesota (14-45) 2121242692
Atlanta (36-20) «2327282098
MIN:K. Love 19 Pts
MIN:K. Love 12 Reb
MIN:J. Flynn 8 Ast
ATL:J. Smith 27 Pts
ATL:A. Horford 13 Reb
ATL:J. Johnson 5 Ast
Players of the Game
AtlantaMinnesota

J. Smith

K. Love
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2710519120

CBSSports.com Shop

Minnesota
A. Jefferson, C295-90-040410
R. Gomes, SF295-80-040111
J. Flynn, PG284-130-03809
C. Brewer, SF284-110-146310
R. Hollins, C286-96-1042218
K. Love, PF296-107-9120519
R. Sessions, PG200-40-01400
D. Wilkins, SG186-81-121115
W. Ellington, SG150-40-02020
D. Milicic, C100-10-02030
S. Pavlovic, SG60-20-00010
M. Blount, CDid Not Play
N. Jawai, PFDid Not Play
O. Pecherov, CDid Not Play
A. Tucker, SFDid Not Play
Totals 36-7914-2138212392
 45.6%66.7% 
Atlanta
J. Johnson, SG387-166-735121
J. Smith, SF389-139-11105327
A. Horford, C375-141-1135311
M. Bibby, PG335-90-054012
M. Williams, PF210-44-51024
J. Crawford, SG290-71-11321
M. Evans, SF134-71-120110
Z. Pachulia, C110-42-27002
J. Teague, PG101-12-22124
J. Smith, PF102-62-22016
M. West, SG10-00-00010
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
R. Morris, CDid Not Play
Totals 33-8128-3246231698
 40.7%87.5% 
Other Games
Mem 99 Final
Wash 94
Port 101 Final
Tor 87
Ind 110 Final
Chi 120
NO 95 Final
Mil 115
Orl 110 Final
Hou 92
OKC 87 Final
SA 95
LAL 96 Final
Dal 101
Phi 95 Final
Pho 106
Char 93 Final
Utah 102
Det 91 Final
LAC 97