Smith Comes Up Big, Hawks Edge Thunder, 97-90
(ATLANTA) — Josh Smith had a huge night for Atlanta (22-15) in their 97-90 win over the Thunder (29-8) on Saturday night.
The Thunder had hoped to extend their winning streak to eight games but Smith would have none of that on his home court. Without their leading scorer, Joe Johnson, who is sidelined with a knee injury, Smith torched the Thunder for 30 points in the victory.
“I was just real focused,” Smith said. “I wanted to be the guy to try to will us to win this game. I was able to find some cracks in their defense and put the ball in the hole.”
Kevin Durant did all that he could do for Oklahoma City with 35 points, including scoring a three-pointer that put them down by two with two minutes to play but Smith answered with a three of his own to make it 92-88.
One of the continuing problems for the Thunder this season is turnovers. They lead the NBA with an average of 16.9 a game. On Saturday night, 21 of them led to 22 Atlanta points.
“We’ve got to fix it,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “We keep talking about it. We’re working on it. But we’ve got to figure out that because it’s going to be hard to win night in, night out the way we turn it over.”
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