When Josh Smith took the challenge of defending DeMarcus Cousins, the Atlanta Hawks finally took control against the Sacramento Kings.

Smith, who remained in Atlanta after being discussed in talks leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline, came through with his defense one day later.

Al Horford led Atlanta’s balanced scoring with 24 points and the Hawks overcame a slow start to beat Sacramento 122-108 on Friday night.

Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists, Smith added 18 points and DeShawn Stevenson had 17 for Atlanta, which had six players in double figures.

Smith also had six rebounds and four assists, but coach Larry Drew talked the most about the decision made by the 6-foot-9 power forward to defend the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins, the Kings’ high-scoring center…

Smith said Thursday he didn’t sleep well Wednesday night as the trade deadline neared. He said he ‘’slept too good, actually” on Thursday night and had the energy to hold Cousins, who had 26 points and 13 rebounds, to only four points in the final quarter…

Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points with nine assists to lead the Kings, who have lost four straight and eight of 10.

– Reported by Charles Odum of the Associated Press