Jeff Teague broke his little brother’s ankles with a filthy crossover, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap each posted a double-double, and the Atlanta Hawks snapped the Nets’ 15-game home winning streak with a 93-88 victory Friday night in Brooklyn.
The win also helped the Hawks move one game closer to clinching the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. They couldn’t clinch the final spot because the ninth-place Knicks won earlier Friday night in Toronto, however they remain two games up on New York in the standings with only three left to play. The Hawks need just one more win, or one Knicks loss, to punch their ticket to the post-season.
Millsap led Atlanta over Brooklyn with a game-high 27 points along with 10 rebounds. Carroll finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Teague tallied 22 points, although his highlight of the night was a missed layup in the fourth quarter, as he hit his little brother Marquis with a killer-crossover that broke the twerps ankles and left him on his ass. Big bro must have been too hype from abusing lil bro because Jeff smoked the reverse layup he usually easily converts.
Sharpshooter Kyle Korver had another 3-point streak come to an end, as he failed to hit a trey Friday night for the 14th straight game — he previously set the NBA record with 127 consecutive games with a made 3-pointer, which was snapped last month at Portland. Korver finished the game with just three points on one-of-eight shooting overall, including missing all five of his three-point attempts.
The Hawks as a team were horrible from the perimeter, as they went 1-for-19 against the Nets — that equals out to just 5.3 percent. Millsap hit the only 3-pointer of the game. However, the team was amazing from the free throw line, converting 20-of-21 foul shots (95.2%).
Meanwhile, Brooklyn had a rough shooting night in all three categories, most notably from the foul line as they went 14-of-25 overall (56%). Paul Pierce was two-of-six from the line and Kevin Garnett missed both of his attempts; if the first-ballot Hall-of-Famers made all of their free throws, their team wins a 16th straight home game.
The Nets were without their starting backcourt, as they decided to rest star point guard Deron Williams and combo guard Shaun Livingston against Atlanta. Jorge Gutierrez started in place of Williams and Andrei Kirilenko started in place of Livingston.
Backup rookie big man Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn with 17 points on a perfect six-for-six shooting night, while fellow bench player Marcus Thonrton had 14 points on a much-less impressive 6-for-17 shooting night. Pierce (13) and Gutierrez (11) were also in double-figures.
Former Hawks player Joe Johnson really struggled against his old team, going one-of-five from behind the arc and 4-of-15 overall, finishing with nine points.
Piece also struggled, going one-of-seven from the perimeter and 5-of-14 overall. Although, he did achieve a milestone, becoming the 18th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 career points. He’s the fourth active player and second on the Nets in the 25k club, joining Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and longtime teammate Kevin Garnett.
“I told him welcome to the neighborhood, man,” Garnett said.
Brooklyn led 23-16 after the first quarter, but the Hawks turned things around with 39 points in the second thanks manily to Teague, who scored 14 points in a seven-minute span. Atlanta took a 55-47 advantage into halftime.
The Hawks extended their lead to the largest of the game, 64-53, midway through the third quarter after a 7-0 run, but the Nets made 10-of-16 shots in the period and cut the score to 74-73 going into the fourth quarter.
Plumlee gave Brooklyn an 88-87 edge with 2:22 left in the fourth after converting a three-point play, but Millsap reclaimed the lead for Atlanta with a reverse layup followed up by a pair of free throws from Teague to put the Hawks up 91-88 with 1:46 left.
Brooklyn was held scoreless down the stretch and Teague hit a shot with 19 seconds left to seal Atlanta’s 93-88 victory.
The win means the Hawks need just one more game, either another win or Knicks loss, to clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have already clinched a playoff berth and are cemented as the fifth seed in the East.
Atlanta can earn the final playoff spot on Saturday if they can win at home against the reigning two-time champion Miami Heat.