Sixers Get Blocked Out by Smith, Hawks

Forward swats away nine shots as Atlanta overcomes early deficit
By Mike Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2008 11:11 PM CST
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, right, holds onto a rebound under pressure from Philadelphia 76ers forward Rodney Carney, center, as center Samuel Dalembert, left, looks on during the second half of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Atlanta's Josh Smith single-handedly dictated the course of tonight's game, blocking nine shots and scoring 19 points in a 96-91 comeback victory over Philadelphia. The Sixers jumped out early, taking a 20-point first-quarter lead, but then Atlanta dropped into a zone defense anchored by Smith's inside presence, taking Philly out of the transition game that had fueled its quick start.

"Josh really altered the game with his blocked shots," Sixers guard Andre Miller, who had 29 points, told the Journal-Constitution. Josh Childress (21) and Joe Johnson (18) were the Hawks' other top scorers. Just for good measure, Smith added nine assists and six rebounds, too. Rookie Al Horford had a key blocked shot to protect the Atlanta lead late.