For the first time this season, the Atlanta Hawks have won four-straight games. The game took place on March 17, it wasn’t the Luck of the Irish that propelled Atlanta to a 97-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. This time it was Atlanta’s play in the second half that led to their win.
Charlotte, led by Kemba Walker’s 20 points, built up a six point lead in the first quarter and held their lead going into halftime up 52-46. Then came the third quarter and Atlanta took control.
Thanks in large part to a 15-4 Atlanta run in the third quarter, the Hawks simply shut down the ‘Cats for the remainder of the game. Charlotte was an atrocious 4-21 from the floor (19 percent) and was outscored by Atlanta 30-16 in the third quarter. Charlotte was limited to just 31 points in the entire second half while Atlanta put up 51 points.
“We have been talking about improving our defense down the stretch," Coach Bud said after the game. “The activity and the effort defensively in the second half is what allowed us to win against a relatively good Bobcats team tonight. This is something that we want to continue building on and continue to improve going down the stretch."
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 28 points. He also pulled down five rebounds and blocked two shots. Pero Antic and Jeff Teague scored 11 points each and Kyle Korver and Mike Scott added 10 points as well.
Antic’s 10 rebounds gave him the lone Hawks double-double of the night while Teague added nine assists. DeMarre Carroll was the lone Atlanta starter to not score at least 10 points (he finished with nine) but he turned in a good performance with six rebounds and two steals.
This win now puts the Hawks just 1.5 games behind the ‘Cats for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has now won 11 straight games against Charlotte, dating back to April 11, 2011. The Hawks are now 3-0 against the Bobcats this season, meaning if they end up with the same season record, Atlanta will win the tiebreaker.
Unfortunately there’s no time for the now 30-35 Hawks to enjoy this winning streak as they head back to Atlanta tonight to take on the 37-28 Toronto Raptors for the third of four games this season. So far the home teams have won both games. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm EST.