Kyle Korver, Hawks rout Wizards for 8th straight victory
The streaking Atlanta Hawks made it look easy against the Washington Wizards.
"At this point, I don’t think we’ve played a better game," guard Kyle Korver said. "We had that 6-minute stretch in the second quarter, but otherwise that’s about as good as we’ve done this year."
Korver scored 19 points and DeMarre Carroll added 16 to help the Eastern Conference-leading Hawks win their eighth straight game, 120-89 over Washington on Sunday.
Improving their NBA-best home record to 16-3, the Hawks got 15 points from Al Horford and 11 each from Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Mike Scott. Teague finished with a game-high 10 assists.
Atlanta has won 13 of 14 and 22 of 24. It leads the Eastern Conference this late in the season for the first time in 21 years.
Aggressively defending Washington from the opening tipoff, the Hawks kept the sellout crowd — their fourth in the last five home games — engaged throughout.
"This is my eighth year, and I’ve never seen us like this besides the playoffs," Horford said. "I feel like the fans are starting to come out, they’re starting to believe and it’s exciting to see. We have a good team and we need their support."
John Wall had 15 points for Washington and Nene added 14. The Wizards were outscored 33-12 in the fourth quarter. They won their previous three games, but allowed a season-high margin of victory for Atlanta.
Korver was 5 for 7 from 3-point range, improving his NBA-leading percentage to 50.2. His smoothest move, however, was a behind-the-back pass to Carroll for a layup and a 64-54 lead in the third.
"Well, I was thinking about trying to dunk it and then I saw John Wall," Korver said, smiling. "I’ve seen too many highlights of him getting blocks from behind. It’s just one of those things where I was up in the air — it wasn’t very long — but it was long enough to know I wasn’t going to get the dunk."
The Wizards, who never led, pulled within two points on Wall’s 20-footer with 5:46 left in the third quarter. They nearly rallied from a 20-point deficit by stepping in the Hawks’ passing lanes, blocking their paths to the basket and limiting their offensive rebounds.
But Washington’s aggressive movement on defense all but stopped at that point, and Atlanta raced to a 108-85 lead with 5:47 left on Scott’s fast-break dunk.
The Hawks scored 31 points off 20 Washington turnovers.
"They cause turnovers, they cause deflections, they stay within their principles and they just run," Wizards forward Paul Pierce said. "They keep coming offensively. They shoot the ball, they keep moving. They had better discipline than us tonight."
The Wizards dropped four games behind Atlanta in the Southeast Division and fell to 1-12 at Philips Arena since Jan. 11, 2008.
Kevin Seraphin added 13 points for Washington. Bradley Beal had 12, Pierce 11 and Marcin Gortat 10.
Wizards: Washington dropped to 3-8 on the road when giving up 100 or more points.
Hawks: After going 16 for 31 on 3-point attempts, the Hawks have made 52 treys and are shooting over 49 percent beyond the arc over their past four games.