Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport
Josh Smith scored 23 points as the Hawks overcame an early deficit and beat the Hornets for their 20th win of the season.
The first game of 2013 for the Hawks looked a little shaky in the first half, but Atlanta managed to turn things around after the break against New Orleans. Outscoring the Hornets by 15 points in the second half, the Hawks won their 20th game of the season by beating New Orleans, 95-86, on Tuesday night on the road. The victory is Atlanta's fourth in its last five games and a bounce-back from a loss to Houston the night before.
Falling behind by double digits in the first quarter, the Hawks got to within six by halftime, then started the third quarter with a 16-5 run over the first seven minutes. Josh Smith was a big factor in the quarter, scoring nine points, while Kyle Korver made a pair of three-pointers. By quarter's end, Atlanta was up eight. New Orleans cut that lead to two a few times down the stretch in the fourth quarter, but each time, the Hawks were able to hold on, then close out the game.
Smith led the way for Atlanta with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Al Horford scored 20, and Korver notched 14 points with four threes. For New Orleans, Anderson came off the bench and led the Hornets with 23 points. The rookie duo of Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis had just 12 points combined.
Atlanta's next game will be Jan. 4 against the Pistons. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. ET in Detroit.