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Originally published Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8:50 PM

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Atlanta Hawks defeat struggling Kings

When Josh Smith took the challenge of defending DeMarcus Cousins, the Atlanta Hawks finally took control against the Sacramento Kings on...

At a glance

Record: 19-37 (4th in Pacific Division)

Next up: Sunday, at New Orleans, 3 p.m.

Notable: Isaiah Thomas, the former UW star, had 30 points, nine assists and six rebounds.

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ATLANTA — When Josh Smith took the challenge of defending DeMarcus Cousins, the Atlanta Hawks finally took control against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Smith, who remained in Atlanta after being discussed in talks leading up to Thursday's trade deadline, came through with his defense one day later.

Al Horford led Atlanta's balanced scoring with 24 points and the Hawks beat Sacramento 122-108.

Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists, and Smith added 18 points for Atlanta.

Smith also had six rebounds and four assists, but coach Larry Drew talked about the decision made by the 6-foot-9 power forward to defend the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins, the Kings' high-scoring center.

Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds, but just four points in the final quarter.

Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points with nine assists to lead the Kings, who have lost four straight and eight of 10.

"We went away from what worked," Cousins said. "We have a tendency to do that every game. I mean, if you haven't learned yet, you ain't trying to learn."

SACRAMENTO fg ft
min m-a m-a or-t a pf pts
Salmons 26:49 3-8 0-0 0-1 2 1 8
Thompson 30:02 3-9 3-4 2-10 0 5 9
Cousins 37:05 11-22 3-6 5-13 2 4 26
Thomas 37:16 9-18 8-9 2-6 9 2 30
Evans 39:04 5-14 4-4 2-8 6 2 15
Thornton 20:54 3-6 0-0 0-2 0 1 8
Hayes 17:45 0-1 0-0 3-5 1 2 0
Outlaw 16:40 3-7 2-2 0-1 0 0 9
JJohnson 6:51 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 1 0
Fredette 7:34 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 3
Totals 38-88 20-25 14-46 24 18 108
Percentages: FG .432, FT .800. Three-point goals: 12-22, .545 (Thomas 4-6, Salmons 2-4, Thornton 2-5, Cousins 1-1, Fredette 1-1, Outlaw 1-2, Evans 1-3). Team rebounds: 9. Team turnovers: 16 (24 PTS). Blocked shots: 2 (Thompson 2). Turnovers: 15 (Cousins 4, Thomas 3, Evans 2, Fredette 2, Thompson 2, Outlaw, Thornton). Steals: 3 (Cousins 3).
ATLANTA fg ft
min m-a m-a or-t a pf pts
Smith 35:46 8-12 2-2 1-6 4 3 18
Horford 33:58 11-14 2-4 0-8 6 4 24
Pachulia 14:28 2-6 0-0 3-7 0 5 4
Teague 32:35 8-18 3-3 0-4 12 3 20
Stevenson 33:51 5-6 2-2 0-2 1 1 17
Korver 31:39 4-11 0-0 0-5 3 1 10
Harris 12:58 3-5 2-2 0-2 2 2 10
IJohnson 7:59 1-3 0-4 0-2 3 1 2
Jenkins 9:31 2-3 1-2 0-0 1 1 6
Tolliver 18:06 3-6 0-0 1-2 1 2 7
Petro 4:15 0-5 0-0 3-4 0 2 0
Jones 2:27 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Scott 2:27 2-3 0-0 2-3 0 0 4
Totals 49-92 12-19 10-45 33 25 122
Percentages: FG .533, FT .632. Three-point goals: 12-27, .444 (Stevenson 5-6, Harris 2-2, Korver 2-7, Jenkins 1-2, Tolliver 1-3, Teague 1-5, I.Johnson 0-1, Smith 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Team turnovers: 6 (3 PTS). Blocked shots: 9 (Teague 3, Tolliver 3, Horford 2, Smith). Turnovers: 6 (Teague 2, I.Johnson, Pachulia, Smith, Stevenson). Steals: 7 (Teague 3, I.Johnson, Korver, Pachulia, Stevenson).
Sacramento 33 30 25 20 — 108
Atlanta 25 36 32 29 — 122
Attendance: 15,031 (18,729). Time: 2:14. Officials: Ed Malloy, Matt Boland, Zach Zarba.

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