Horford, Hawks down Bobcats
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Al Horford poured in a game-high 26 points and ripped down 13 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks knocked off the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-91, on Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Horford added three blocks on the defensive end, while Kyle Korver dropped four 3-pointers en route to 16 points and six boards for the Hawks, who have won four in a row. Jeff Teague contributed 13 points and Josh Smith added 10 in the victory.
"Our guys did a great job of challenging shots," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We can't allow teams to get free looks at the rim, we have to challenge them."
Ramon Sessions scored a team-high 22 points, while Kemba Walker and Jeff Taylor added 16 points apiece for the Bobcats, who had won five of six coming in.
Byron Mullens and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist donated 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the setback.
The teams traded buckets early on, with the Bobcats holding a 10-5, but the Hawks answered with a 13-0 burst to take an 18-10 advantage late in the session.
Charlotte cut the deficit to five with 1:10 on the clock, but the Hawks held a 30-23 lead heading into the second stanza.
Ivan Johnson put home a layup early in the second quarter to give the Hawks a nine-point lead, but the Bobcats fought back with six straight to cut the deficit to three, capped by a Kidd-Gilchrist layup, with 7:19 to play in the half.
Teague buried a deep three, igniting the Hawks on a 7-0 run to push the lead back to double digits, and a Korver jumper gave Atlanta its largest lead of the half at 55-41. The visitors led 57-51 at the break.
A floater by Teague with just over four minutes to play in the third stanza gave Atlanta its biggest cushion of the night at 76-61, but the Bobcats got back in the game with a 13-2 flurry.
Walker capped the run with a 19-footer to bring the Bobcats within 78-74, but Zaza Pachulia put home a layup at the horn to make it 80-74 heading to the final quarter.
Atlanta maintained a healthy lead through the final quarter until a Kidd- Gilchrist layup with 1:26 left made it a six-point game, 97-91. Horford answered right back with an emphatic slam at the other end and the Hawks held on for the victory.
"We had some nice opportunities and we didn't cash them in," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "We had some really good looks, especially in the fourth quarter, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes the ball doesn't go down."
Atlanta has won nine of the last 12 meetings between the teams ... The Hawks blocked 15 shots, their highest total since Nov. 5, 2001 against the Los Angeles Clippers ... Atlanta shot an impressive 53.8 percent from the floor, including 11-of-22 from 3-point range ...The Hawks won the battle on the glass, 41-36.
11/23 23:03:40 ET