Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 4/30/13
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

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?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker