Hawks 96, Raptors 78
One assist shy of a triple-double, Josh Smith started getting worried. One teammate had already missed a shot that would have given him his 10th assist, and time was ticking down in the fourth quarter.
''When it was coming down to it, I was like 'Man, I'm not going to get it,''' Smith said. ''We ran a couple of plays for me to try and get the assist.''
It paid off with 4:30 left when Smith fed Joe Johnson for a layup, then looked over at his bench with a relieved smile. Mission accomplished.
Smith had his third career triple-double, Marvin Williams added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors 96-78 Sunday.
''It just seemed like he was all over the floor,'' Hawks coach Larry Drew said of Smith. ''When he plays like that and when he plays under control, he just does so much for us.''
Smith finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Hawks won their third straight game after losing seven of the previous nine. Johnson and Al Horford scored 16 points apiece and Jamal Crawford had 10.
''Josh and Marvin really set the tone for us as far as getting rebounds and making plays happen,'' Horford said.
Mike Bibby scored nine points and was the only Atlanta starter not to reach double figures.
''I've always said we're a five-man attack team,'' Drew said. ''When you have that mentality, and you share the basketball the way we do, it makes us a very difficult team to guard.''
Smith had nine rebounds and eight assists through three quarters. After setting up Crawford for a 3-pointer, he blocked Andrea Bargnani's layup and picked up his 10th rebound with 9:39 left.
The 10th assist, however, took a little longer. Smith fed Josh Powell for a baseline jumper with 8:19 to go but the shot didn't fall, leading to some post-game teasing from Smith.
Johnson took the pressure off with a layup that put the Hawks up 92-69, their biggest lead of the game.
''It was a relief,'' Smith said. ''I got on Josh Powell in here earlier because he could have made that (jump shot) but he missed.''
Smith made only four of 10 shots, but had three steals and two blocks.
''My offense really wasn't clicking today so I had the opportunity to showcase my passing abilities and my defensive play,'' he said.
The Hawks are 7-2 away from home, the best road record in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta finished 8 for 18 from 3-point range, while the Raptors made just 1 of 12.
Toronto left to boos after being held to a season-low point total and losing its second straight after a season-high four-game winning streak ended Friday at Boston.
Raptors coach Jay Triano complained that all five of his starters had been outplayed by their Atlanta counterparts.
''Nobody could score and we couldn't stop those guys,'' Triano said.
Bargnani, limited to a season-low 11 points Friday, led Toronto with 14 points, while DeMar DeRozan scored 13.
Horford scored eight points in the opening quarter as the Hawks took an early 27-23 lead. An alley-oop by Leandro Barbosa put Toronto up 38-36 with 6:40 left in the second, but Atlanta responded with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes, including five points from Johnson, to take a 52-46 edge at the half.
Atlanta blew it open in the third, outscoring Toronto 25-11 to take a 77-57 lead into the fourth. The Raptors didn't help themselves, making six turnovers and shooting a miserable 3 for 17.
''We did a good job executing in that third quarter,'' Drew said. ''We got out and started running and we got a few stops and it seemed like it just opened the game up.''
Toronto's Joey Dorsey made his first career start in place of Reggie Evans, who left Friday's defeat with an injured right foot. He finished with nine points and six rebounds in 19 minutes.
NOTES: Williams had his first double-double of the season. ... The Raptors said Evans has a broken bone in his right foot and will be sidelined indefinitely. Toronto is still exploring treatment options for Evans, the third-leading rebounder in the NBA. ... The Raptors were also without forward Peja Stojakovic (sore left knee). ... Toronto's previous low point total was 84, set Nov. 6 at Portland.