Atlanta center Al Horford led the Hawks to a 95-88 victory over the Orlando Magic on the strength of his 13th double-double of the season.
Brett Davis/Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Going inside the Atlanta Hawks’ 95-88 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night at home, their third win in a row:
1. The Hawks were quick out of the gate, but not much for stamina
In the first 2:38 of the game, the Hawks were able to drain a bucket from Al Horford, two from DeMarre Carroll (one a 3-pointer) and a three ball from Kyle Korver. By the time the Magic could get a time out called, Atlanta was up 13-3.
Over the next 74 seconds Paul Millsap drained two 3-pointers and scored another field goal to put the hawks up 21-5. Of course Orlando burned another time out.
Atlanta hit its first eight shots of the game, and led the Magic 21-5 just 3:42 into the game. That 16-point lead would not hold.
The Hawks scored just seven more points in the first quarter as the baskets stopped falling. Jeff Teague missed two 3-pointers and a layup, Carroll, Dennis Schroder and Mike Scott also miss long-distance shots, and Millsap even missed two free throws. After starting the game 8 for 8 from the floor, the Hawks shot 3 for 13 the rest of the way in the first.
The freeze from the first extended into the second quarter, but shooting was even more ice cold. The Hawks shot 26.3 percent from the floor (5 of 19) in the second quarter, and finished the half 16 of 40 (40 percent).
After scoring 21 points before the first four minutes ticked off the clock, Atlanta scored just 20 points during the remaining 20:18 of the half.
Atlanta’s 16-point lead turned into a a three-point deficit at halftime.
2. Jeff Teague used a strong second half to keep a streak alive
Entering Friday’s action, Teague had scored in double figures in 28 straight games. The last time he failed to reach at least 10 points was on Dec. 23 against the Clippers when he only notched nine points.
At halftime, Teague was looking at a goose egg on the scoreboard.
Almost two minutes into the third quarter, Teague nailed a 3-pointer for his first points of the game. Over the next 4:47, Teague scored six more points to land on nine for the game. It wasn’t until almost half way through the fourth quarter than Teague hit another shot and eclipsed the 10-point plateau.
Teague finished the game with 17 points, and made it a career-high-and-counting 29 games in a row in double digits.
In 54 games this season, Teague has failed to score at least 10 points only eight times. The 17 on Friday brought his season total up to 900.
3. Horford with another double-double
In his last two games, Horford was kept from a double-double by two measly rebounds. His eight boards against both Milwaukee and Dallas were just shy.
But Horford poured in 17 points on Friday and grabbed 13 boards for his 13th double-double of the season. It was a rebound put back for a slam that sealed the win for Atlanta.
With just a four-point lead and 19 seconds left to play, Horford grabbed the rebound from a Teague floating jumper. He pulled the rebound in well above the rim and navigated to the basket to dunk the ball with authority. The Hawks ended up winning by seven points, but those two from Horford were the exclamation point.
With his double-double, Horford now has 187 during his career. He sits in ninth place on the All-time Hawks list. He’s six ahead of Dikembe Mutombo (181) and 16 behind Cliff Hagan (203), who is in eighth place.
Bob Pettit has the most double-doubles in Hawks’ franchise history with 708.
14: The Hawks connected on 14 of 31 3-pointers against the Magic, marking Friday as the 35th time this season Atlanta has hit 10 or more from downtown in a game. It took every game last season for the Hawks to record 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 35 times.
4: Atlanta’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is four. The Hawks hold a 13.5 game lead in the division. When they make the playoffs, it will mark their eighth straight season in the playoffs.