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Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010

Smith, Johnson propel Hawks

ATLANTA (AP) The assist Josh Smith needed for his triple-double set up the basket the Atlanta Hawks needed to finally pull away from the Chicago Bulls.

News photo
Beaten at home: Kobe Bryant of the Lakers drives on Denver's Arron Afflalo on Friday. The Nuggets beat the Lakers 126-113. AP PHOTO

Smith and Joe Johnson each scored 18 points, and the Hawks recovered in the fourth quarter to beat the Bulls 91-81 on Friday night.

Smith also had 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double as Atlanta regrouped after trailing by six to open the final period.

He already had a double-double in points and rebounds when his offensive rebound and pass set up a 3-pointer by Mike Bibby with 2:13 remaining for his 10th assist, matching his career high. Bibby's basket gave the Hawks an 86-78 lead, matching their biggest advantage since the second quarter.

"It was big," Smith said. "It feels even better that we got the win."

Smith averages 15 points and 8.4 rebounds. He ranks third in the NBA with 2.19 blocked shots per game but needed help from Jamal Crawford, Johnson, Bibby and Atlanta's other perimeter shooters to reach 10 assists.

Luol Deng had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Derrick Rose scored 19 points for the Bulls, who lost their third straight.

Nuggets 126, Lakers 113

In Los Angeles, Chauncey Billups scored a career-high 39 points, including nine 3-pointers, and Denver defeated the Lakers, ending L.A.'s eight-game home winning streak.

Billups was 12-for-20 from the floor, 9-for-13 from 3-point range and made 6 of 8 free throws to go with eight assists for the Nuggets, who played without Carmelo Anthony for the seventh straight game because of a sprained left ankle.

Billups scored 21 points in the third quarter alone, the most against the Lakers in one period since Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers had 23 in a game in February 1966. Billups' nine 3-pointers were the second-most ever against the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant scored 33 points on his sprained left ankle for Los Angeles.

T-Wolves 117, Mavericks 108

In Dallas, Jonny Flynn scored 19 points and Minnesota finished the game on a 13-2 run to snap a 13-game losing streak against the Mavs.

Celtics 96, Nets 87

In Boston, Ray Allen scored 26 points, Rajon Rondo added 17, and Eddie House scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter as the hosts rallied to win their third straight.

Wizards 92, Magic 91

In Orlando, Caron Butler made a 5.8-meter jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining, capping Washington's comeback from a 21-point deficit.

Butler finished with 31 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards.

76ers 101, Hornets 94

In New Orleans, Thaddeus Young made his first seven shots and finished with 19 points to lead Philadelphia over the short-handed Hornets.

Andre Iguodala scored 14 points, Rodney Carney added 13 and Samuel Dalembert had 16 rebounds for the 76ers.

Pacers 107, Pistons 83

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 25 points and Brandon Rush added 16 to help Indiana to one of its most lopsided wins over Detroit.

Ben Gordon scored 26 points and Rodney Stuckey added 16 for the Pistons.

Bucks 114, Knicks 107

In New York, Brandon Jennings scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, and reserve Ersan Ilyasova added a career-high 25 for Milwaukee in place of starting center Andrew Bogut, who was forced to leave midway through the first quarter with a migraine.

David Lee had a season-high 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Knicks.

Rockets 101, Grizzlies 83

In Memphis, Aaron Brooks had 19 points and eight rebounds and Houston handed the Grizzlies their fourth loss in five games.

Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry finished with 17 points apiece, and Luis Scola added 12 points for the Rockets, who have won three of four.

Suns 114, Kings 102

In Sacramento, Steve Nash had 23 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to help Phoenix complete a perfect four-game road trip with a victory over the struggling Kings.

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