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Hawks stay hot, blow out Wizards

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks seemingly have to be cooled off eventually, but the Washington Wizards were not the ones to extinguish a hot run Sunday.

Guard Kyle Korver went 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts en route to 19 points and the red-hot Hawks ran their winning streak to eight games with a 120-89 victory over the Wizards before a sellout crowd of 18,057 at Philips Arena.

“We came out energized and playing great,” said Teague, who also had four steals. “It was a team effort on the defensive end. We knew we had to have active hands.”

The victory was the 22nd in the past 24 games for the Hawks (29-8) and increased their lead over second-place Washington (25-12) to four games in the Southeast Division.

The Hawks, who never trailed, made 16 3-pointers and forced the Wizards into 19 turnovers, recording 14 steals.

“It’s becoming important to us,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said of his defense getting steals. “The activity and the defense is what we’re continuing to talk about and continuing to work on. The turnovers and activity fueled our offense.”

Forward DeMarre Carroll had 16 points for the Hawks and center Al Horford scored 15. Guard Jeff Teague had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.

The sellout was the fourth in five games for the Hawks, who are 16-3 at home this season.

“We used the home-court advantage,” Horford said. “The crowd was very good.”

Guard John Wall led Washington with 15 points and eight rebounds, but he also committed eight turnovers. Forward Nene added 14 points as the Wizards were blown out despite shooting 47.4 percent to 47.2 percent for Atlanta.

“You can’t give a good team that many opportunities,” Wizards coach Randy Whitman said of his team’s turnover woes. “It makes it hard.

The Hawks, forcing miscues and making 6 of 11 from behind the 3-point arc, were up 44-24 less than four minutes into the second quarter before going cold temporarily.

The Wizards were within 55-50 at halftime as Atlanta shot just 28.6 percent in the second quarter and made only one of its final nine 3-pointer attempts.

The Wizards then got within two points in the third quarter.

“We knew they would make a run,” Teague said.

The Hawks, though, rallied to lead 87-77 going into the final quarter and then pulled away.

Atlanta was 9 of 11 from behind the 3-point arc in the second half, finishing at 51.6 percent from long range.

“We got back in it there in the third period, making it a two-point game,” Wittman said. “But way too much (of) one guy dribbling the shot clock out with no movement.”

The Wizards are 9-8 on the road compared to 16-4 at home.

“We have to beat some of these top, elite teams in their building,” Washington forward Paul Pierce said.

NOTES: Washington is now just 9-8 on the road and has lost four of its last five away from home. … The Wizards will return home Tuesday to face the San Antonio Spurs. … The Hawks will try to add to a franchise-best eight-game road winning streak when they open a four-game trip at Philadelphia on Tuesday. They also play at Boston, Toronto and Chicago before returning home Jan. 19 against Detroit. … The Hawks defeated the Wizards 109-102 in Washington on Nov. 25. Hawks G Jeff Teague scored 28 points in that game, in which the Wizards were without F Nene. … G John Jenkins, assigned to the NBA Development League by the Hawks, is sidelined by a left hamstring injury suffered in a game Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated Monday. … The Wizards and Hawks will meet again Feb. 4 and April 12.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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