NBA: Hawks smother Suns; Kobe aids Lakers from bench

2013-03-16T00:00:00Z NBA: Hawks smother Suns; Kobe aids Lakers from benchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ATLANTA - Josh Smith said he wanted the win even more than a triple-double.

Smith made a strong return to Atlanta's lineup with 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Hawks led by double figures throughout the final period of their 107-94 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Entering the fourth quarter, Smith was three assists shy of the triple-double.

"All I can do is distribute the ball and hopefully they knock the basket down," Smith said. "It's OK. I'll take the win over the triple-double any day."

Goran Dragic had 21 points and eight assists for the Suns, who have lost three straight and five of six.

Dragic said Phoenix couldn't keep up with the Hawks' strong inside play of Smith and Al Horford and the three-point shooting of Kyle Korver (4 of 5 treys, 16 points). The Suns (7-27 on the road) had 24 turnovers.

• Lakers 99, Pacers 93: In Indianapolis, a hobbled Kobe Bryant was held scoreless for only the 15th time in his 17-year NBA career, but Dwight Howard had 20 points and 12 rebounds and delivered a tiebreaking three-point play with 90 seconds left that sent the Lakers past Indiana.

Bryant played for 12 minutes on his severely sprained left ankle, then spent the rest of the night on the bench contesting calls, waving teammates into the right spots and even drawing something up on a clipboard for Howard to see.

"It really just continued to swell and I couldn't put any weight on it, so I called it a night," Bryant said.

Other Lakers picked up the slack. Metta World Peace had 19 points and seven rebounds, Steve Blake had five threes and 18 points, and Antawn Jamison added 17 points with four treys.

"We don't shoot much better than that," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said when asked about going 13 of 26 from beyond the arc.

George Hill scored 27 points to lead the Central-leading Pacers (40-25).

• Heat 107, Bucks 94: In Milwaukee, LeBron James and Chris Bosh each scored 28 points, and the Miami Heat made it 21 straight wins, beating the Bucks.

Miami now trails just the 1971-72 Lakers (33) and the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) after moving ahead of the 1970-71 Bucks.

The Heat withstood an early scare when Dwyane Wade walked to the locker room with a neck strain after crashing to the court. He returned and had 20 points.

• Nuggets 87, Grizzlies 80: In Denver, Kosta Koufos had 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in helping the Nuggets rally to beat Memphis for their 11th straight victory - Denver's longest streak in 30 years.

Ex-UA Wildcat Andre Iguodala put the finishing touches on the comeback win by stealing a pass and swooping in for a dunk with 50 seconds left for Denver, which won its 15th in a row at home. Zach Randolph had 18 points and 18 rebounds for Memphis, which had won six straight.

• Thunder 117, Magic 104: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 26 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 to help the Thunder improve to 30-4 at home with a win over Orlando. OKC scored a season-high 73 points in the first half, shooting 64 percent from the floor.

• Rockets 108, Timberwolves 100: In Houston, James Harden scored 37 points, Jeremy Lin had 24 and the Rockets rallied from 20 points down in the third quarter to beat Minnesota.

Harden also grabbed seven rebounds and handed out eight assists for the Rockets, who stayed two games ahead of the Lakers in the No. 7 playoff spot in the West. Ex-UA Wildcat Derrick Williams had 19 points for Minnesota.

• Mavericks 96, Cavaliers 86: In Dallas, Rodrigue Beaubois scored 18 points off the bench and keyed a fourth-quarter run to lead the Mavs past Cleveland. Beaubois had seven points and two assists in a 17-4 run that gave Dallas the lead for good to start the fourth.

• Raptors 92, Bobcats 78: In Toronto, Rudy Gay scored 28 points, Amir Johnson had 12 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, and the Raptors beat Charlotte.

• Wizards 96, Hornets 87: In Washington, John Wall had a season-high 29 points and matched his career high with three treys as the Wizards beat New Orleans.

• Bulls 113, Warriors 95: In Oakland, Calif., Luol Deng scored 23 points, Carlos Boozer had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Chicago bounced back from its most lopsided loss of the season at Sacramento (121-79) to whip Golden State.

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