Hawks block Wizards 100-89
By CHARLES ODUM,
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) Josh Smith scored 20 points and reached a blocked shots milestone, and the Atlanta Hawks held off Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards 100-89 on Friday night.
Arenas had 23 points and Brendan Haywood added 19 for Washington.
The 23-year-old Smith rejected a shot by Arenas in the fourth quarter to become the youngest player in NBA history to block 900 shots. Shaquille O’Neal was 24 years old when he reached 900.
The block set up a fast break, capped by Smith’s left-handed dunk.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points and Jamal Crawford added 16 for Atlanta, which took the lead for good late in the first quarter.
The Wizards lost forward Caron Butler to a bruised left knee in the second quarter. There was no immediate update on the severity of the injury. Washington is already without forward Antawn Jamison (right shoulder injury).
Al Horford had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for Atlanta.
The Hawks led by 15 in the third quarter, the last time at 65-50. Washington cut it to seven points early in the final period as Arenas made three straight baskets.
Atlanta answered with a 3-pointer by Marvin Williams before Smith’s block and jam pushed the lead to 93-78. The Wizards scored eight straight points before Smith answered with a three-point play.
A 3-pointer by Arenas capped a 12-0 run for a 12-4 Washington lead. The Hawks closed the opening period with a 15-4 run to lead 29-24.
Atlanta opened the second period with Crawford and other backups. Crawford had 11 points in the period, including a 3-pointer with 6:26 remaining to push the lead to 10 points for the first time at 43-33.
Hawks guard Mike Bibby forced a turnover by Arenas with 2.7 seconds left in the half to set up a basket by Horford at the buzzer for a 58-44 halftime lead.
The halftime lead matched the Hawks’ 17-3 advantage in free throws made in the half. Atlanta made 17 of 19 free throws; Washington made 3 of 6. For the game, Atlanta outscored Washington 31-14 from the free throw line.
Notes: Smith’s 24th birthday is Dec. 5. … Team spokesman Brian Sereno confirmed Wizards G Javaris Crittenton had exploratory surgery on his left foot on Oct. 23. Crittenton is expected to miss another month with the strained tendon in the foot. … The Wizards on Friday exercised their contract options on G Nick Young and C JaVale McGee for the 2010-11 season. … The Hawks swept last season’s series with the Wizards 4-0.