Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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ATLANTA - Joe Johnson scored 30 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat New Orleans 89-79 on Monday night, ending the Hornets' season-best seven-game winning streak.
Johnson had only 12 points in back-to-back games and was held under 20 points in four straight before re-emerging against the Hornets. He had 10 points in the third quarter and helped the Hawks protect the lead in the final period.
The Hornets pulled no closer than five points in the fourth quarter. After a basket by Chris Paul cut Atlanta's lead to 82-75, Johnson set up a powerful alley-oop jam by Josh Smith with 2:22 remaining. Mike Bibby followed with a 3-pointer to push the lead to 10 points for the first time at 87-77.
Johnson's 30 points are his most since a season-high 41 against Chicago on Dec. 27.
Paul had 24 points and 10 assists and David West also had a double-double with 16 points and 20 rebounds for New Orleans.