NBA: Atlanta 111, Charlotte 81

ATLANTA, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Josh Smith helped Atlanta close with a rush Thursday and the Hawks, responding to the loss of Al Horford, crushed Milwaukee 111-81.

The Hawks announced Thursday that Horford, their starting center, would be lost for at least three months due to a torn pectoral muscle. He suffered the injury Wednesday during a loss at Indiana.


Atlanta held an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter but the Hawks limited the Bucks to four points over the final 8 minutes.

Smith scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while Joe Johnson had 23 points. Zaza Pachulia took Horford's place in the starting lineup and had 10 points along with 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.

Atlanta has won four of its five home games this season. Charlotte has dropped five in a row.

The Bobcats were led by Byron Mullens with a career-best 21 points.

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