- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) - Al Horford had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Josh Smith finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Atlanta Hawks’ sixth straight victory, 119-97 over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Improving to 26-7 at home, the Hawks are 40-28 overall, their highest win total since 1997-98. They moved three games ahead of fifth-place Miami in the Eastern Conference.

Kevin Martin scored 31 for Sacramento, which fell to 0-27 against teams from the East and extended its losing streak to four. The Kings have dropped four straight and 13 of 14 away from California, where they are 4-30 this season.

Horford overcame a hard fall on his right hip after Spencer Hawes fouled him early in the fourth quarter. Despite lying face-down on the floor for a few seconds and seeming to shiver, Horford arose and hit the ensuing free throws.

He stayed in the game a few more minutes before coach Mike Woodson began sitting his starters.

Joe Johnson finished with 20 points for the Hawks, ending his four-game stretch of 30 or more after missing his first eight attempts from the field and finishing 8-for-21.

All of Atlanta’s six consecutive wins have come at home. The seven-game homestand ends after Dallas visits on Thursday, but after playing Saturday at Cleveland, the Hawks will have four more at Philips Arena against Minnesota, San Antonio, Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings’ starting lineup of Andres Nocioni, Jason Thompson, Hawes, Martin and Beno Udrih was their 22nd this season. Their biggest lead was 10 points midway through the first, but Atlanta never trailed after Zaza Pachulia’s layup midway through the second.

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