CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Forward Paul Millsap scored 28 points and the Atlanta Hawks continued their mastery over the Charlotte Bobcats with a 97-83 victory on Monday night.
The Hawks rallied from a 10-point deficit in the first half and took control of the game by outscoring Charlotte 30-16 in the third quarter. The Hawks eventually led by as many as 18 in the fourth.
It was Atlanta’s 11th straight victory over Charlotte spanning the past three seasons, and it allowed the Hawks to close to within 1 1/2 games of the Bobcats in the battle for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Atlanta (30-35) has now won four straight after a stretch in which it lost 14 of 15.
Center Pero Antic and guard Jeff Teague scored 11 points each, and forward Mike Scott and guard Kyle Korver scored 10 each for the Hawks.
Charlotte (33-35) had a four-game winning streak snapped and also watched an eight-game home streak come to an end.
Guard Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 20 points, but he scored only five in the second half. Center Al Jefferson finished with just 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting, as the Hawks effectively shut him down thanks to Antic and a series of double-teams. Guard Gerald Henderson also scored 16.
The Bobcats led 28-22 after one quarter and 52-46 at halftime. Their biggest lead came at 28-18 late in the first quarter. But the Hawks dominated the third period, going on a 25-11 run to open the quarter, and wound up outscoring the Bobcats 51-31 in the second half.
NOTES: The Bobcats occupied the Eastern Conference’s No. 7 spot and the Hawks were at No. 8 entering Monday’s action. The Bobcats were 1 1/2 games behind No. 6 Brooklyn, while the Hawks were 3 1/2 games up on No. 9 New York. … This was the third of four meetings between the Southeast Division rivals. The Hawks won both previous games, 103-94 in Charlotte on Nov. 11 and 118-116 in overtime in Atlanta on Dec. 28. … The teams will also play in Atlanta on April 4. … The Bobcats have had two four-game winning streaks in the last month and came into the game 10-4 since Feb. 18. … The Bobcats’ 101-92 win at Milwaukee on Sunday gave them 14 road wins this season, a franchise record. … Bobcats C Al Jefferson was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday. It is his first such honor as a Bobcat and the sixth of his career. … Hawks G Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record streak to 128 straight games with at least one 3-pointer by hitting two from long range on Monday. … The Hawks were without C Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), C Al Horford (right pectoral surgery) and G John Jenkins (lower back surgery). … Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said that C Brendan Haywood (stress fracture, left foot) will not return this season. F Jeffery Taylor (ruptured right Achilles) is also done for the season. … The Hawks will return home to play Toronto on Tuesday. … The Bobcats will play at Brooklyn on Wednesday.
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