When the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Bobcats match up, it’s often a tough affair that Atlanta eventually pulls out. Though Charlotte gave it a good run, the Hawks took down the Bobcats like old times, 97-83.
The Hawks are now on a season-best four-game winning streak, and are 3-0 against divisional rival Bobcats this year. The series finale is Monday, April 14 in Atlanta.
Pero Antic began the Atlanta offense with some made jumpers and clever pump fakes to draw fouls from the defense. He was one of four players who finished 10 or 11 points, the others being Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague, and Mike Scott. Antic and Korver combined for 20 points and 20 rebounds, which is impressive for two guys who spend most of their time around the arc.
The Hawks gave up 52 points in the first half due to some slack defensive principles. Rotations and close out were much too slow. Charlotte was up by as much as 10 points, and in control for all of the first half. The second half was an entirely different story as the Hawks smothered Charlotte, only giving up 18 points through the first 18 minutes of the second half and all but sealing the game for Atlanta.
Paul Millsap led the second half charge for Atlanta, with a stretch of scoring 17 of 19 Atlanta points across the third and fourth quarters. He finished with 28 points on 20 shots, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist. Millsap flashed his three point range with two made threes, which is an encouraging sign during this prolonged shooting slump. His shot chart was an interesting one as well, choosing to aim from straight in front of the basket.
Kemba Walker tried to keep Charlotte in the game single-handedly with 20 points, including 4 of 6 shooting from deep. Al Jefferson played a game high 39 minutes, logging a double double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. But the Bobcat offense faltered in the second half due to some crisp Hawks defense.
The win bumps Atlanta up to 11-24 in games away from Philips Arena. The Hawks are now 1.5 games behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the 7th seed in the East, and are 4 games up on the Knicks to retain the 8th seed.
Surprisingly, this is Atlanta’s first four-game winning streak of the season. The Hawks will look to extend their streak Tuesday night at home against the Toronto Raptors.