Hawks Beat Bobcats For Season-High Fourth Straight Win

Monday, March 17, 2014
By Robby Kalland

Atlanta Hawks v Charlotte Bobcats

The Hawks (30-35) trailed by six at the half, but dominated the second half on their way to a 97-83 victory over the Bobcats (33-35). Paul Millsap led all scorers with 28 points on 60% shooting (50% from three) along with five rebounds and two blocks. Millsap carried the Hawks offense at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third quarter, scoring 15 of the Hawks’ 17 points from 6:15 left in the second quarter to 8:19 left in the third quarter — the Hawks erased a nine point lead in that span.

Hawks vs. Bobcats
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The win marked the Hawks’ fourth straight win — setting a season-long winning streak — and was the team’s 11th consecutive win over the Bobcats. With the victory, Atlanta opened their cushion on the Knicks for eighth in the East to four games and got them within 1.5 games of Charlotte for the seventh spot in the East — as well as giving the Hawks the tiebreaker in the season series.

Along with Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague got hot in the third quarter, with Korver scoring all 10 of his points in the frame — he also had nine rebounds and four assists. Teague had a tough first half and was outplayed by Kemba Walker, but got the Hawks offense clicking with five points and six assists in the third quarter alone. Teague finished the game with 11 points, nine assists, and four rebounds.

Pero Antic recorded his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds and made three of his seven three-point attempts. DeMarre Carroll was held scoreless for the first three quarters, but the Junkyard Dog found his way in the fourth with nine points — largely off of cuts to the basket — to help the Hawks seal the victory.

After an off night against the Nuggets on Saturday night, the Hawks bench came out and played much better on the road in Charlotte. Mike Scott broke out of his mini-slump with 10 points and three rebounds on 50% shooting to lead the Hawks bench, while Elton Brand was a monster once again on the defensive end, rejecting three shots and pulled down seven rebounds to go with four points in just 16 minutes.

Shelvin Mack and Dennis Schröder each had good bounce-back outings at the point. Mack struggled a bit with his shot going 2-of-6 from the floor with five points, but orchestrated the offense and was excellent facilitating as he dished out eight dimes. Schröder had six points on 2-of-3 shooting and grabbed three rebounds without turning the ball over in his 13 minutes of play.

Defensively, the Hawks struggled in the first half, particularly containing Walker and Al Jefferson. Walker had 15 of his 20 total points in the first half, getting the best of Teague, but Jeff and the Hawks did well to lock down on him in the second half. Jefferson — who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds — had eight points and nine boards in the first half, asserting himself in the paint. Atlanta made a conscious effort in the second half to double Jefferson in the post and force him to pass out, and were much better about boxing out — and also made a lot more shots — in the second half to keep Jefferson to just three rebounds.

The Hawks held the Bobcats to just 31 points on 28.9% shooting — 16.7% from three — in the second half. That kind of defensive effort combined with a more efficient offensive attack allowed Atlanta to pull away from Charlotte.

The Hawks will be back in action tomorrow night against the third-seeded Raptors in Atlanta as they look to make it five straight wins.

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Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE/Getty Images

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