|Pacers guard T.J. Ford gets a pass off despite a tug by Cavaliers’ Daniel Gibson. (Darron Cummings/Associated Press)|
Hawks finish strong
Smith’s final-second shot keeps Atlanta on a roll
Josh Smith spent most of the fourth quarter cheering on his teammates from the bench. He was on the court, though, for the biggest play of the game.
After sitting for all but 44 seconds of the final period because of foul trouble, Smith soared through the lane to drop in a missed shot with 0.7 seconds remaining and the Hawks won their seventh in a row, beating the Houston Rockets, 105-103, last night in Atlanta to maintain the NBA’s best record at 11-2.
Marvin Williams scored a season-high 29 points, but it was Smith who came through at the end for the Hawks.
Carl Landry hit a pair of free throws with five seconds left to cap Houston’s 11-1 run that tied the game at 103. The Hawks got the ball to Mike Bibby, whose 17-foot jumper bounced off the front of the rim. But Smith flew right down the middle of the lane, grabbed the rebound with both hands, and softly put it in while the Rockets screamed for basket interference.
“All I wanted to do was crash the boards,’’ Smith said. “In case he missed, I wanted to be there. I wanted him to make the shot, but I was there for the miss.’’
Cavaliers 105, Pacers 95 - LeBron James scored a season-high 40 points and visiting Cleveland rallied against Indiana.
Danny Granger had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Dahntay Jones added 17 points for the Pacers, who lost their second in a row.
Cleveland center Shaquille O’Neal missed his fourth straight game with a strained right shoulder. Coach Mike Brown didn’t give a timetable for his return.
Thunder 127, Wizards 108 - Kevin Durant scored 35 points, Russell Westbrook added 26, and host Oklahoma City had its highest-scoring output of the season.
Rookie James Harden followed his 24-point performance by hitting his first three 3-pointers and finishing with 25 points to set another career best. Jeff Green had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Thabo Sefolosha added 16 points.
Raptors 120, Heat 113 - Chris Bosh had 29 points and 12 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and host Toronto beat Miami to snap a three-game losing streak.
Dwyane Wade scored 30 points for the Heat, who have dropped three in a row.
Mavericks 104, Kings 102 - Jason Terry scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and host Dallas got 52 points from its bench in winning for the fifth straight game.
Grizzlies 102, 76ers 97 - Rudy Gay tied his season high with 33 points, including a clutch jumper with 19 seconds left, and Memphis got its first road victory of the season in seven tries and extended its winning streak to three games.
Clippers 106, Nuggets 99 - Rasual Butler netted 27 points off the bench to lead host Los Angeles to its first win over Denver since Nov. 11, 2007.
Bucks 95, Bobcats 88 - Rookie Brandon Jennings scored 29 points to help host Milwaukee hand Charlotte its seventh straight loss.
Warriors 108, Blazers 94 - Monta Ellis had a season-high 34 points, helping host Golden State snap a three-game skid.