The Atlanta Hawks showcased their depth in another impressive victory.
They’ll try to match the fifth-longest single-season winning streak in NBA history at 19 games Saturday night against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, who are seeking a more modest third straight victory for the first time.
Atlanta (39-8) owns the league’s best record after Friday’s 105-99 home win over Portland, outscoring the Trail Blazers 36-25 in the fourth quarter. The Hawks rank third in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency (110.3 and 97.5 points per 100 possessions, respectively) since losing to Milwaukee on Dec. 26.
Starter DeMarre Carroll and Thabo Sefolosha have both been ruled out for this game. Carroll sat out Friday with a strained left Achilles, while Sefolosha – starting in his place – exited after two minutes with a strained right calf. Shelvin Mack will miss a seventh straight game due to a strained calf.
Kent Bazemore had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a career-high 40 minutes after not playing more than 28 all season.
Six different Hawks have had or tied for the team high for scoring and 11 have posted double figures at least once during the winning streak. Paul Millsap’s 21 points led the way Friday, the fifth time in six games he’s scored 20 or more.
"We’re confident in one through 15 here," said Al Horford, who had 17 points. "Guys really put in the time, guys work every day. They just don’t get the opportunity because we’re so deep."
Atlanta has shot 40.8 percent from 3-point range during its streak while making 10.7 per game. Eight different players have at least 10 3-pointers in that span, led by Kyle Korver who is 58 for 106 (54.7 percent). Mike Scott was 3 for 3 Friday to help the Hawks go 11 for 23.
Jeff Teague, however, continues to struggle – he’s shooting 38.5 percent over his last seven contests after previously shooting 48.5 percent. He is 8 of 26 in his last three games versus Philadelphia.
The Hawks, who are 22-3 at home, can match three other teams, including San Antonio in 2013-14, for the league’s fifth-longest single-season winning streak ever.
Philadelphia (10-37) has its third two-game winning streak. It failed to win a third straight both times, however, losing those contests by a combined 39 points, including a 105-87 home loss to Atlanta on Jan. 13, its sixth straight loss in the series.
Michael Carter-Williams had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Friday’s 103-94 home win over Minnesota, his third triple-double of the season and the fifth of his career, tying Lance Stephenson for the most in the NBA since the start of 2013-14.
The 76ers, who rank near the bottom of the league with 20.1 assists per game, recorded 27 in each of the last two games. Friday’s win broke a 23-game drought without a 100-point game.
"I just feel like (Carter-Williams) is playing so much more at peace within himself, and I think the group is doing the same," coach Brett Brown said. "And, collectively, it produces some decent performances."
Carter-Williams has shot 53.5 percent shooting in four meetings with the Hawks.
While Philadelphia limited its last two opponents to 7-of-34 3-point shooting, the Hawks were 18 of 53 in the first two meetings, also winning 95-79 at home on Dec. 10. Korver was 9 of 14 from beyond the arc in those contests and Atlanta was plus-25 in rebounds.