ATLANTA – Josh Smith scored 25 points and hit a key late 3-pointer to help the Atlanta Hawks beat Washington 114-101 Friday night, ending an eight-game losing streak against the Wizards.

Gilbert Arenas scored 41 points and Antawn Jamison added 24 for the Wizards, who couldn’t match the Hawks’ superior balance. Backup center Brendan Haywood scored 11 points and was Washington’s only other scorer in double figures.

Joe Johnson scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Hawks, who had seven players score in double figures. Zaza Pachulia added 16.

Washington began the night in fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, 21/2 games ahead of sixth-place Milwaukee.

Smith hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 left after the Wizards cut the lead to seven points. He finished one point off his career scoring high of 26 points against Memphis on Sunday.

The Hawks, who have won back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 27 and March 1, beat Washington for the first time since March 12, 2004.

The Wizards won the first three games of the four-game season series. They failed to reach five games over .500 for the first time this season.

The Wizards were without forward Caron Butler, held out with a right thumb sprain, and guard Antonio Daniels, who has a sprained left wrist.

Butler is third on the team with 17.3 points per game.

The Wizards had a scare when Arenas, who had 15 points in the first period, limped off to the locker room with a lower back sprain 10 seconds into the second quarter. He returned midway through the quarter and started the second half.

Through three quarters, Arenas and Jamison had 51 of Washington’s 75 points. The Hawks had four players in double figures and two more with nine.

Atlanta led 55-53 at halftime and 80-75 entering the final period.

Two free throws by Pachulia gave the Hawks a 90-81 lead with 6:37 left, matching their biggest lead of the game. Smith then hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 12 points at 93-81.

Arenas, fouled by Tyronn Lue while making a 3-point shot, hit the free throw for the four-point play, cutting the lead to 95-87 with 4:49 left.

Johnson answered with a 3-pointer to give Atlanta a 101-89 lead with 3:42 left.

Notes: The Hawks made 39 of 49 free throws, setting a season high for free throws made. It is the most free throws made for the Hawks since they made 41 against the New York Knicks on April 17, 2005. … The Wizards activated F Awvee Storey when placing Butler on the inactive list for the game. … Arenas had his 10th 40-point game of the season, matching LeBron James for the third-highest total in the league.

AP-ES-04-07-06 2155EDT