NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 21st (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (11-2) at New Orleans Hornets (5-8), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The red-hot Atlanta Hawks take the NBA's best record into the Big Easy Saturday for a matchup with the New Orleans Hornets.
The Hawks won their seventh straight game and finished a four-game homestand in perfect fashion Friday when Josh Smith slammed home Mike Bibby's missed jump shot with 0.7 seconds left, giving Atlanta a 105-103 win over the Houston Rockets.
Smith, who sat all but 44 seconds of the fourth quarter due to foul trouble, was inserted into the game with 9.9 seconds left. Simultaneously, Carl Landry also came on for Houston and drew a foul on Al Horford under the cylinder with five seconds on the clock. He made both free throws to deadlock the game at 103 and set up the Hawks' heroics.
"My man and Bibby's man stayed close...and all I wanted to do is crash the boards. Just in case he missed I was there for the put-back," said Smith. "That's all that matters -- it just matters about that last shot. It was big for our team and it gave us the win."
Marvin Williams went for a game-best 29 points on 13-of-19 shooting while bringing down nine rebounds for Southeast Division-leading Atlanta, which improved to 7-0 at home this season.
Jamal Crawford dropped 21 points and Joe Johnson scored 19 with nine assists and six boards. Horford checked in with 17 points and six rebounds in the win.
The Hawks haven't won eight in a row since starting the 1997-98 season with 11 straight victories.
The Hornets, meanwhile, won their second straight game on Thursday when Peja Stojakovic nailed 7-of-11 three-point tries and recorded 25 points and 13 rebounds to carry New Orleans to a 110-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the Big Easy.
Darren Collison, filling in for the injured Chris Paul (ankle), scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, while Marcus Thornton and Devin Brown each chipped in 19 points for the Hornets, who have won back-to-back games under new coach Jeff Bower for the first time this season. Bower, the team's general manager, took over the head coaching duties after Byron Scott was fired last week.
Emeka Okafor finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
"Anytime you get late into a game in that situation, you have to grow (as a team). David West and Devin Brown helped me by talking to me throughout the game, and that takes a load off of me. At this point, we just had to focus and get the win," said Collison.
The Hawks have won three straight in the series, including a 121-98 rout in Atlanta earlier this month.
11/21 10:31:50 ET