On a night when Joe Johnson struggled, Josh Smith had another huge game. The Atlanta Hawks once again rolled on the road. Smith had 28 points, eight boards and seven blocked shots to lead the Hawks to a 102-92 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Mike Bibby had 16 points and seven assists and Al Horford added 15 for Atlanta, which improved to 5-1 on the road this season.
"I think we're much more focused," Horford told the team's television broadcast afterward. "We're not playing so reckless on the road and not getting momentum to the other team. We could still get better."
In a reverse of last season, Atlanta (8-4) has struggled to find a rhythm at Philips Arena this season splitting six games thus far on their home court, but has excelled on the road, winning four of five entering their matchup against Indiana (4-5).
Once again, the road-warrior Hawks had no problem dispatching of a team on the highway. Smith was all over the court in this one, swatting down shots, grabbing boards and pouring in shots from all over the court. Of course, it helped that Atlanta's motion offense was in full swing amassing 26 assists on 37 connections from the field.
"We're willing to share the basketball everybody's having fun out there," Smith said. "We're just doing it the right way. Whenever you do it the right way, you have fun and it looks good."
Atlanta took control of this one in the third quarter, turning a one-point lead into a 12-point edge by scoring 27 of the 45 points in the frame. Smith lead the way in the second half, scoring 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. He was doing this on a night when Johnson had trouble finding the the net. Johnson finished with 11 points and five assists, but was just 4-for-12 from the field.
"Everybody knows that Joe is the key guy," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "He's such a potent scorer. But when other guys are touching and other guys are getting looks, we're just tough to defend. When we play like that, we become hard to beat"
Danny Granger had 22 points and Roy Hibbert added 18 for the Pacers, who outrebounded the Hawks 42-30. But the Hawks shot 50-percent (37-for-74) from the field and connected for eight 3-pointers en route to notching their second straight win.