Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/1/13
NEW ORLEANS -- In his eight-plus seasons in the NBA, Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has been a solid but overlooked inside presence and scorer. In fact, Smith is the 24th player in league history to have career totals of 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks. And yet, he has never made an appearance in the NBA All-Star game. That may be about to change. Smith added to his resume Tuesday night by scoring 23 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, dishing out seven assists and blocking four shots as Atlanta defeated the New Orleans Hornets 95-86 at the New Orleans Arena. "He was absolutely phenomenal," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "Every physical play when the ball was involved, he was there and made an impact on both ends. I normally take him out at the end of the third quarter, but I was going to ride him. I told him just to give me the fist if he got tired." Smith never got weary, scoring 10 points in a 28-14 third quarter surge during which the Hawks made 12-of-19 shots (63.2 percent) to turn a 50-44 halftime deficit into a 72-64 lead. Despite his lack of All-Star love, Smith is the first player in NBA history with career averages of 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. Smith, who entered the game with a sore right hip flexor, grabbed his 5,000th career rebound during the game -- an event he called "a great honor." "It lets me know I'm getting older, but I still have a lot more in my tank to go," Smith said. "It's just a blessing to be able to do this as long as I'm doing it. It's dedicated to the hard work and effort that I put into the offseason as well as during the regular season." The Hawks' front line dominated the Hornets. Besides Smith, Al Horford added 20 points and backup center Zaza Pachulia had 12 points and 10 rebounds in just 20 minutes. The three big men combined for 55 points, 26 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and five blocked shots. "Their bigs did a very good job of dominating the game," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "Pachulia comes off the bench and has a double-double. We just didn't put up much of a fight. Our big just had a lack of execution." The Hawks led 84-82 with 4:14 left, but Kyle Korver started an 11-4 surge with a 3-pointer from the right baseline. Smith added an alley-oop dunk on the Hawks' next possession. Horford then hit an inside basket and a dunk on consecutive possessions as the Hawks (20-10) pulled away for their fifth victory in six games. The Hornets (7-24) got 23 points from Ryan Anderson, but they lost their seventh consecutive home game. Eric Gordon came off the bench in his second game of the season and scored 11 points, but he struggled with his shooting, going just 5-of-17 from the floor. "I missed some shots that I should have made," Gordon said. "In the second half, they did a good job of keeping me from getting to the goal." NOTES: The Hawks have the best record in the NBA on the back end of back-to-back games, extending their record to 7-1. "It's a good thing to have, because we have a lot coming up in the next few weeks," Horford said. "It's good that we're getting these wins." ... Williams said he wants Vasquez to keep his Player of the Week honors for the Western Conference in perspective. Vasquez averaged 21.0 points, 10.0 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game. "You try to treat it like a win," Williams said. "You enjoy it for a few hours and then you've got to move on."... Vasquez recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 assists and came up one rebound short (nine) of a triple-double. ... The Hawks were finishing up a stretch of five games in seven nights. "We're a little tired, but this is the NBA," Atlanta coach Larry Drew said. "This is just where you have to just roll your sleeves up and gut it out. Every team's going through it."... Drew said he was looking for his team to attack the basket in transition. "We've gotten in trouble a little bit where we do have an advantage in transition and we run straight to the 3-point line instead of really attacking the basket," Drew said.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Terrelle Pryor's five-year ban from Ohio State ends

Report: Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp


Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

Report: Kansas City Chiefs' Justin Houston likely to miss regular-season games

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker