The Atlanta Hawks' coach Mike Woodson wants his team to push on after finished their four-game away trip with a comfortable 110-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers. Al Horford led the way with 25 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks while Joe Johnson scored 24 points as the Hawks split their away games 2-2 to improve to 21-8.
"I'm not saying we're an elite team, but we're a team I know that if we come committed to play, for 48 minutes, we can beat anyone in this league," Woodson said. "We've got to go home now and handle our business. We've got Cleveland coming in and they're playing pretty well and this is a good win for us to go back home again." The Hawks led from start to finish, scoring the first nine points of the game and building a 17-point margin in the first quarter to pull within half a game of Orlando Magic, the Southeast Division leaders.
Indiana (9-19) suffered their fifth consecutive loss despite three players, Troy Murphy, Luther Head and rookie Tyler Hansbrough, each contributing 19 points. Elsewhere in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks had seven players in double figures as they overcame the Memphis Grizzlies 106-101. Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and Jason Terry contributed 23, having a decisive say in the final quarter.
In response, Zach Randolph scored a game-high 27 points for the Grizzlies. The Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 132-127 in the night's highest-scoring match, as Corey Maggette and Monta Ellis both scored 33 points. Phoenix's Steve Nash scored a game-high 36 points. The Chicago Bulls were too strong for the New Orleans Hornets, posting a 96-85 home win as Tyrus Thomas led the scoring with 21 points while Joakim Noah contributed 17 and had 18 rebounds.
Thirty points from Kevin Durant helped the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 98-91 victory over poor travellers the Charlotte Bobcats, while Carl Landry's 26 points propelled the Houston Rockets to a 98-93 away win over the New Jersey Nets. The Milwaukee Bucks had a dismal day in front of their home crowd, losing 112-97 to the San Antonio Spurs, for whom Tim Duncan finished with 26 points.
A 27-point haul for Corey Brewer spurred the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 101-89 win over the Washington Wizards, while the Utah Jazz beat the Philadelphia 76ers 97-76. * With agencies