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Old 02-16-2006, 02:07 PM
TomWilkinson TomWilkinson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas
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Default Hawks End 23 Game Road Losing Streak

The Atlanta Hawks arenít pushovers anymore, as the Los Angeles Lakers found out last night. Josh Smith had 21 points and 15 rebounds to match his career bests, Josh Childress scored 10 of his season-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, and the Hawks held off the Lakers 114-110 to snap a 23-game road losing streak to Western Conference teams.

"We have had a couple good road wins, but this is by far the best," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "Our young kids did it tonight and you need to tip your hat to them. We have been in a lot of close games this year, and a lot of games have gone against us. Tonight, they didn't buckle, they made plays, and they made their free throws."

The Hawks had not beaten a team from the West on the road since Nov. 12, 2004, when they won at New Orleans 96-95. Joe Johnson had 20 points and a career-high 15 assists.

Kobe Bryant had 39 points and nine assists for the Lakers (26-26), who go into the break having lost six of their last eight. The Lakers shot 55.9 percent in the first three quarters, but were only 9-of-25 (36 percent) in the final period. They were even worse from the foul line, going 6-of-15. Bryant was horrible, going 4-of-10.

"We just had a lid on the basket ó it was just one of those nights," Bryant said. "We missed some free throws down the stretch and it cost us the ballgame. We didn't do a good job protecting the basket. They got a lot of layups."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he couldn't explain the Lakers' horrendous foul shooting down the stretch.
"I don't think we have an excuse," he said. "The guys who had opportunities didn't connect."
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