Al Horford added 20 points, Kyle Korver 14 and Zaza Pachulia 12 for the Hawks, who spoiled the homecoming of Hornets guard Eric Gordon.
Gordon, playing in his first home game this season, scored 11 points on 5 of 17 shooting. He made his season debut in a victory over Charlotte on Saturday after spending most of the season recovering from a knee injury.
Ryan Anderson scored 23 points and Greivis Vasquez added 17 for the Hornets. Ryan Anderson scored 23 points, Greivis Vasquez 17 and Robin Lopez 10 for the Hornets, who had won two of their past three.
Vasquez, who was selected the NBA Player of the Week on Monday, record his eighth double-double of the season with 10 assists. His nine rebounds left him one short of what would have been his second triple-double of the season.
The Hornets' Anthony Davis struggled from the floor, making four of nine shots for nine points but had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
New Orleans also struggled from the free throw line, making 4 of 12, the .333 percentage setting a franchise low.
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The Hornets had defeated the Hawks in six of the past 10 meetings and appeared to be in control early, leading 21-10 late in the first quarter and taking a 50-44 lead at intermission.
But once again the third quarter was the Hornets' undoing. With Smith taking command, Atlanta, playing its fourth game in five days. outscored New Orleans 28-14 to carve out a 72-6 lead.
Smith was 5 of 9 in the quarter for Atlanta, which closed on a 6-0 run.
New Orleans was 6 of 16 in the period and committed four turnovers. New Orleans twice cut the lead to two points in the final quarter, the last coming on Vasquez's free throw with 4:14 remaining. But Korver answered with a 3-pointer off of a Horford assist to put the Hawks up 87-82 with 3:57 left.
Horford scored four points in the final two minutes to secure the win for Atlanta, which has two days off before traveling to Detroit, the final leg of a three-game road trip.
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