Vivlamore reporting from New Orleans.
They Hawks were tired as they started their fourth game in five days. Coach Larry Drew admitted to such before Tuesday’s game against the Hornets.
They didn’t wake up until the second half. After sleep-walking through the first 24 minutes, with many defensive lapses, the Hawks erased an early double-digit deficit en route to a 95-86 victory over the Hornets Tuesday at the New Orleans Arena.
The Hawks outscored the Hornets 28-14 in the third quarter to turn around a six-point deficit. They led 72-64 going into the final quarter thanks to a 15-2 run early in the third that changed the momentum. Josh Smith had 10 points in the period to cap an impressive statistical effort of 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals. With his 12th board, he reached the 5,000 rebound career milestone.
“We had a letdown in the first two quarters and I wanted to come out with the energy and effort,” Smith said. “It so happened that I