Hawks Go To Charlotte and Win Second Straight
The Hawks moved to 4-3 and first in the Southeastern Division with a 99-93 road victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Al Horford led the way for the Hawks with 24 points along with five rebounds and four assists. Jeff Teague recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 assists. Cartier Martin had a big night off the bench with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 3-of-4 from three-point range.
|Hawks vs. Bobcats|
The Hawks fell behind early as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker came out aggressive for the Bobcats combining for 19 points in the first quarter to give Charlotte a 29-26 lead. The Hawks struggled with foul trouble in the first quarter, with Teague and Dennis Schröder each picking up two fouls. The Bobcats extended that lead in the second quarter and finished the half up 54-46 and Kidd-Gilchrist had 16 points at the half. The Hawks could not find their offensive rhythm in the first half as they shot just 43.6% from the field and had eight turnovers leading to 10 Bobcats points.
The Hawks took control of the game in the third quarter, dominating the Bobcats 34-16. Horford had 13 of his 24 points in the third quarter on 6-of-8 shooting. Teague dished out nine dimes in the third quarter, many of which going to Horford as they got their pick-and-pop going, taking advantage of Bismack Biyombo‘s refusal to step out on Horford’s jumper. Martin also had a big quarter with seven points to help the Hawks take the lead.
The fourth quarter saw the Hawks build the lead up to 14 before letting the Bobcats claw their way back into the game. Atlanta’s lead was cut to as little as five with under two minutes to play, but the Hawks stayed calm and collected down the stretch and iced the game away at the free throw line.
Teague struggled early, picking up the two fouls in the first three minutes of the game, and never found his flow in the second quarter. However, he came out more aggressive in the third quarter as he and Horford began going to work on the pick-and-pop game. Like Saturday night against the Magic, the Hawks went to the pick-and-pop in the second half after trying, to little success, to establish the pick-and-roll and deep post game in the first half.
Martin’s good shooting performance was a welcome sight after he struggled in his last two outings, including an 0-for-7 night in Denver last Thursday. He hit three from long distance and was getting better looks in the flow of the offense rather than forcing contested shots.
DeMarre Carroll was a relative non-factor offensively with five points, but had a team high 10 rebounds and was active and aggressive on the glass. Paul Millsap had his worst game of the season with nine points (on 2-of-7 shooting) and five rebounds, but it was good to see that the Hawks were able to overcome some offensive struggles from one of their biggest contributors early this season to still have a solid night.
Kyle Korver had 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting (2-of-6 from three) and extended his streak to 80 consecutive games with a three pointer, moving into second alone on the all-time list, nine behind Dana Barros’ record of 89.
The Hawks continued a streak of their own as they now have scored 100+ in each of their first seven games of the season. The biggest reason for the Hawks’ offensive success has been the commitment to ball movement by the Hawks who had 26 assists on their 35 made baskets tonight. Atlanta also had an excellent night from the free throw line shooting 82.1% from the charity stripe, a welcome sight after the early struggles from the line this season.
The Hawks will return home tonight and prepare to take on Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks Wednesday night at Philips Arena.
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