Hawks Offense Stays Hot In Win Over Wolves
The Hawks (25-21) continued their great offensive play of late to beat the Timberwolves (23-24) 120-113. Kevin Love played through an ankle sprain and had an incredible night with 43 points and 19 rebounds, but he didn’t get enough help to counter the Hawks’ balanced attack led by Kyle Korver‘s 24 points and Paul Millsap‘s 20 points and 13 rebounds.
|Hawks vs. Wolves|
The Hawks led 14-3 early in the first quarter, but the Wolves fought back as Love — 15 points and 12 rebounds in the first half — found his rhythm once he got the ankle warmed up and Minnesota took a 54-48 lead at the half. The Hawks were down by nine in the closing seconds, but Korver was fouled on a half-court attempt by Corey Brewer to give him three free throws — which he made — with 0.1 seconds to play.
In the first half, Brewer frustrated Korver by face-guarding him all over the court as Kyle was unable to shake him off of screens. Korver had seven points in the first half, but was 0-for-1 from the three-point line. The Hawks as a team shot just 2-for-11 in the first half, but they refused to be deterred despite the tough shooting.
In the second half, the Hawks picked up their offensive pace and got Korver going in the third quarter where he had three three-pointers to extend his record streak to 115 games. The Hawks were 4-for-6 in the third quarter on threes and outscored the Wolves 38-21 in the quarter — their second straight 38 point third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Wolves answered the Hawks 38 point quarter with one of their own. Love had 21 of his 43 points in the fourth and was 6-of-9 from the field with seven made free throws and a pair of three-pointers. The Hawks stayed resilient, even when their lead dwindled down to three with 1:26 to play and had 34 points of their own to get the victory.
One of the key baskets in the fourth quarter came from one of the most unlikely sources, as Gustavo Ayon got his only points of the night — finished with two points and four rebounds — with 43.8 seconds to play on a running bank shot to push the Hawks lead to five points after a Love three-pointer got the Wolves within three.
Millsap came out hot with 10 of the Hawks first 12 points in the first quarter in his first game back home since being announced as an All-Star, and finished the night with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
DeMarre Carroll had 19 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals as the defensive stalwart continued his strong offensive play of late. Jeff Teague also scored 19 points, dished out a team-high eight assists, and had three steals in his second game back from a minor ankle sprain.
The bench unit, that scored 70 points in Philadelphia the night before, had another solid outing led by Mike Scott. Scott finished with 14 points and six boards for his 11th consecutive game in double-digit scoring. Elton Brand had eight points and seven rebounds, and Lou Williams added seven points, five assists, and four rebounds.
The Hawks as a team shot 46.7% from the field and, helped by a 7-for-12 second half, shot 39.1% from the three-point line. Atlanta continues to move the ball well with 30 assists on 43 made shots, and out-rebounded Minnesota 48-46 (15-14 OR).
The Wolves shot 44% from the floor and 37.5% from the three-point line, but did well to attack the Hawks defense to get 39 free throw attempts, making 33. Outside of Love, Kevin Martin had 17 points, JJ Barea had 12 points — before being ejected for two technicals in the fourth — and Brewer had 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the hot shooting Hawks.
The win gave the Hawks their 11th straight home win over Minnesota, and got them to four games over .500 on the season. The Hawks will have two days off before they face the Pacers at home on Tuesday.
Tweet of the Night
— Matthew L. Evans (@_MLEvans) February 2, 2014
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