Smith, Teague lead Hawks past Bulls 100-88

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

ATLANTA (AP) - There’s a tape that Josh Smith’s coach wants him to see.

It shows the Atlanta Hawks forward attacking the basket. And defending. And rebounding. And finding the open man. About the only thing it doesn’t feature is Smith parking himself on the outside, putting up jumpers beyond his range.

“I’ve been telling him from day one: just because the shot is open doesn’t mean that’s the shot you take,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said.

Smith is frequently criticized by Atlanta fans for his inconsistent play. He heard nothing but cheers Sunday night, coming up with a huge game that helped the Hawks even the Eastern Conference semifinal against top-seeded Chicago at two games apiece.

Largely ignoring the long jumpers that aren’t his forte, Smith had 23 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and a steal in Atlanta’s 100-88 win over the Bulls.

“We’re always trying to stay in his ear, but obviously when he’s going to the basket and making it easy for himself, we just try to keep encouraging him,” teammate Joe Johnson said. “He was All-Star caliber. When he’s playing like that, it’s almost impossible for a team to beat us.”

Smith will have to keep it up for the Hawks to have a chance to knock off the Bulls. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Chicago.

“I’m going to bring the tape in and bring him into the office. And he knows,” Drew said. “He has the ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor. When he’s flying around making plays, he’s pretty good.”

The Hawks snapped a nine-game home losing streak in the second round, their misery dating to a May 13, 1996, win against Orlando.

Jeff Teague also played a big role in stopping the skid.

Filling in for injured Kirk Hinrich, the second-year guard again directed the team with the poise of a veteran instead of someone who played infrequently during the regular season and hardly at all in the first round of the playoffs. He scored 12 points and doled out four assists, putting the capper on a late 10-0 run that broke open a game that had been tight and intense all the way.

“He’s playing great,” said Hinrich, who’s watched this entire series in dress suits because of a hamstring injury. “Obviously he has ability. He’s fast. He’s good at finishing up around the rim.”

Driving toward the hoop with Kyle Korver draped all over him, Teague flipped up a shot as he was falling down. It banked in, giving the Hawks a safe lead, 94-84, with 1:26 remaining. The second-year player bounced off the court with a big smile, bumping his teammates on the way to the bench.

Someone held up a sign, “M-V-Teague.”

The actual MVP scored 34 points. But Derrick Rose needed 32 shots to do it, and he wasn’t nearly as effective as he was in scoring a career-best 44 points in Game 3, leading the Bulls to a 99-82 rout that restored Chicago’s home-court advantage.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama

  • Dinesh D'Souza's "America: Imagine the World Without Her" got promising reviews from two major Hollywood publications. It opens nationwide Wednesday.

    D’Souza on Costco debacle: ‘It was really bizarre’