Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/28/14
ATLANTA The enigma that is Josh Smith could have been playing his final game at Philips Arena as a member of the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of this first-round playoff series. A pending unrestricted free agent a few months from now, Smith played in a way that ensured that he would suit up for at least one more game in the city in which he is a native and where he has played all of his professional basketball.The nine-year veteran scored a playoff career-high 29 points to go with 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot, as the Hawks beat the Pacers 102-91 to even this series at 2-2.Each team has held serve at home, and Indiana did it in large part on the back of Paul George, who scored 23 and 27 points, respectively, in the first two games. However, once the series shifted to Atlanta, Hawks coach Larry Drew decided to defend George with Smith, who finished as runner-up for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2009-10.Going into the fourth quarter on Monday, Smith had outscored George 22-7.I thought Josh Smith played a phenomenal game again, Hawks coach Larry Drew said. The challenge of trying to defend Paul George, I thought he took the challenge and I thought he was real good. Everything that George made, I thought he earned. And thats all you can ask for. Hes a terrific player.The Hawks held a 17-point advantage at halftime, as Smith led the way with 16. But their offense bogged down in the third quarter and they made only three field goals (Smith went 0-for-6 in playing all 12 minutes). Al Horford sat with foul trouble, playing just 3:35 in the period, and Devin Harris, who was effective in pushing the pace again, played only 5:10, as he was dehydrated and had to receive intravenous fluids at halftime, delaying his participation in the third quarter.That allowed the Pacers to scrape their way back, but late in the game, when it counted, Smith helped deliver. Indiana cut the lead to 86-81 when Smith made a 3-pointer, falling dramatically to the floor after his follow-through with 3:08 left in regulation.Indiana answered, making it 89-83, but Smith came up big again on the Hawks ensuing possession. He grabbed the rebound of Horfords missed lay-up and found Kyle Korver for a 3-pointer, picking up an assist in the process that pushed the lead to 92-83 and forced the Pacers to call timeout with 2:03 left.The Pacers never got within seven after that.Horford said the energy with which Smith played stood out.I feel like when he plays with that level of energy, were such a different team, Horford said. And not that he doesnt do it all the time. But when hes committed to doing all the little things and things like that, it makes a big difference for us.Smith was asked what the Hawks must take from this game and carry forward when the series returns to Indiana for Game 5 on Wednesday.Energy and effort, he said. If we play with those two words and play together those three words, let me take that back were a pretty good basketball team, he said. Its not going to always work defensively. Were not always going to run the defensive play to the tee every time.The way we scrambled out of double teams, the way we helped each other out when they dribble-drived and we contested pretty much every jump shot that they took, thats what it's going to take for us to be able to compete up there in their arena.The win represented the Hawks 13th in a row over Indiana at Philips Arena, dating to 2006. That bodes well for Game 6 back here on Friday. But to win the series, they are going to have to steal one on the road.As Horford said, when Smith brings that energy, the Hawks are tough to beat. If he does it on the road on Wednesday, he might be able to add a few more home games to his resume.Beyond that, who knows.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Texas A&M Aggies bench Kenny Hill for freshman Kyle Allen

Josh Smith's reaction to Faried's criticism: 'He's a clown'

Magic, Mia Hamm among owners of new MLS franchise

Michael Vick broke teammate’s finger with bullet pass

Wes Welker: 'I feel like the weak link' in Broncos' loaded offense

Greg Hardy will not play this season after trial postponement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chip Kelly on not weighing in on injuries: ‘I’m not Dr. Miyagi’

Saints vs Panthers: preview and prediction

Kevin Youkilis retires after 10 seasons in MLB

Ricky Williams says he retired due to poor quarterback play

Judge rejects request to move Aaron Hernandez murder trial

Jason Garrett optimistic that Tony Romo can play Sunday

WATCH: Russell Westbrook gets into it with heckling fan

PHOTO: The best sports-themed Halloween costume this year

WATCH: Jameis Winston forces fumble after throwing INT

Bruce Pearl dressed up as fellow Auburn coach Gus Mazhahn

WATCH: Jimmy Graham head-butts bench

Seahawks host football team from H.S. shocked by shooting

WATCH: Cavs intro in LeBron James’ first game back was wild

Did latest World Series win establish Giants as a dynasty?

Cavaliers give fans instructions on how to do 'Chalk Toss'

Explaining the Penguins loyalty to Marc-Andre Fleury

WATCH: Man obliterates house after Cowboys MNF loss

WATCH: Entire history of Nike in just under three minutes

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!

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.