The Atlanta Hawks close out their post-NBA All-Star Break home stand with a strong defensive effort by beating the Charlotte Hornets, 87-76 Sunday evening.
The Atlanta Hawks were able to carry their momentum from their dominating win over the Chicago Bulls Friday night, 103-88, by forcing the Charlotte Hornets to take a ton of tough shots. Atlanta limited Charlotte to only 33.3% shooting from the field, as the Hawks buzzed the Hornets, 87-76 Sunday at Philips Arena.
Atlanta was able to eke out a tough defensive battle against the Hornets by outscoring Charlotte in the first quarter 25-9. Charlotte could not buy a bucket in the opening period and backup guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. was able to nail a halfcourt buzzer beater to cap off a truly dominating first quarter for his Atlanta Hawks over the Hornets.
The Hawks shot the basketball decently from the field at 49.4%, despite only attempting five free throws during the entire contest. Atlanta did most of its damage offensively from beyond the arc, draining 47.1% of its three-point attempts versus the Hornets.
The Atlanta Hawks had five players in double figures scoring, despite this being a tremendously low-scoring game in this Sunday matinée. Leading the way for the Hawks was starting small forward Kent Bazemore with 14 points on 6-8 shooting, including 2-2 from three. Bazemore emphasized attacking the rim in this divisional game, as he feels he became too reliant on his improved outside shooting. He finished with six rebounds and three assists.
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Al Horford had a great game in his double-double. Though he only had 13 points on 6-17 shooting, Horford had a strong showing on the glass with 16 rebounds. Horford would also finish with six assists and a block versus the Charlotte Hornets at home Sunday afternoon.
Paul Millsap had 13 points on 6-11 shooting to go along with five rebounds, two assists, and a block. Jeff Teague had 10 points on 4-9 shooting, nearly having himself a double-double with nine assists, four rebounds, and a steal.
Coming off the Atlanta Hawks’ bench, Tim Hardaway, Jr. played magnificently with his 11 points. He was 5-8 from the field with two rebounds, an assist, and a steal, but he had the highlight of the game with first quarter buzzer-beater from halfcourt to stifle the Hornets into the second period.
Atlanta will begin another West Coast road trip Tuesday when they travel to Oakland to play the nearly unbeatable Golden State Warriors at their place in Oracle Arena. Golden State has yet to lose at home this year, so for the Hawks to shock the world in Oakland, they’ll need to bring their A+ game with them to the Bay Arena Tuesday night. Let’s Go Hawks!