Bobcats try to put Thunder debacle behind them against Hawks
(Sports Network) - The Charlotte Bobcats have already seen first hand just how well the Atlanta Hawks are playing during their season-high winning streak.
Set to meet for the second time in less than a week, the Hawks try to extend a pair of five-game winning streaks both overall and against the Bobcats in Wednesday's night meeting in Atlanta.
The Hawks have won five in a row for the first time since Jan. 2-12, 2011 and that includes a 101-91 road win over the Bobcats. The victory came last Friday and was paced by Al Horford's 26 points off a career high-tying 13 field goals made. Horford also had 13 rebounds and Jeff Teague added a double-double with 13 points and a season-high 12 assists.
Charlotte was led by Ramon Sessions' 22 points, but saw Atlanta post a season- high 15 blocks.
"Our guys did a great job of challenging shots," Hawks coach Larry Drew said after the win. "We can't allow teams to get free looks at the rim, we have to challenge them."
Horford's effort versus Charlotte was part of an impressive stretch last week that earned him Eastern Conference Player of the Week. He averaged 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in four games, capping the run with 10 points and eight boards in Saturday's 104-93 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Teague followed up his effort versus the Bobcats with 19 points and 11 assists versus the Clippers to give him consecutive double-doubles for the first time in his career, while Zaza Pachulia had 19 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's win.
"We're playing well," said Teague. "The chemistry's there, guys are making shots, we're playing (strong) defense. That's always good."
Atlanta has logged at least 100 points in four of its five games during this win streak while holding opponents to 90.4 ppg over that span. That has the club in position to win six straight for the first time since starting the 2010-11 campaign 6-0.
While the Hawks will try to keep doing the things they have done well over this win streak, including an improvement in the transition game according to Drew, the Bobcats will try to put their effort on Monday far in the rearview.
Charlotte suffered the worst loss in team history two nights ago, falling 114-69 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 45-point defeat surpassed the previous largest margin of defeat by a point, a 112-68 setback in Portland on Feb. 1.
That loss was part of a 7-59 campaign for the Bobcats, who matched that win total with a double-overtime win over Washington one night after the loss to Atlanta. Charlotte, though, took a big step back in Oklahoma City, shooting just 22 percent in the first half on 8-for-37 from the field.
"Oklahoma City is a great team, and it got out of hand real quick," Bobcats center Byron Mullens said.
Jeffery Taylor was the lone Bobcat to reach double figures with 10 points, while Mullens and Ben Gordon had nine points apiece.
Sessions ended with seven points on 1-for-9 from the floor, while leading scorer Kemba Walker failed to score after shooting 0-for-6 and missing both of his 3-point attempts.
Charlotte has split the first two of a three-game road trip, while Atlanta has won three in a row at home and plays the second of five in a row as the host.
11/28 10:47:12 ET