The Atlanta Hawks win their second straight and climb above the .500 mark for the first time this season with a 103-94 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Atlanta improves to 4-3 on the season and continues their recent dominance of the Bobcats.
Atlanta got off to a slow start thanks to a rash of foul trouble by its point guards. Jeff Teague picked up two fouls in the first 1:29 of the game and headed to the bench in favor of Dennis Schröder. Schröder lasted exactly 2:11 seconds before picking up two fouls of his own and forcing Mike Budenholzer to turn to Shelvin Mack.
Mack and the rest of the bench played well and kept Atlanta close despite a good start to the game by the Bobcats. Atlanta trailed 54-46 at the half but it could have been much worse.
The Hawks took control in the third as they clamped down defensively shutting off driving lanes and forcing the Bobcats into taking plenty of shots from the perimeter. Atlanta outscored Charlotte 34-16 in the third and led 80-70 going to the fourth.
The Bobcats made a run in the fourth and cut the Atlanta lead to just 93-88 with 1:44 remaining. Atlanta shot just 26 percent in the fourth from the field but were 12-of-14 from the free throw line down the stretch to help seal the victory.
Al Horford scored 13 of his game-high 24 in the decisive third quarter. Horford came up with another big defensive effort holding Al Jefferson to just 10 points and seven rebounds in his return from an ankle injury.
Cartier Martin led a solid performance by the Atlanta bench with 16 points including 3-for-4 shooting from deep. Teague struggled with his shooting but had a big floater down the stretch when Charlotte was threatening and logged another double-double with 14 points and 12 assists. Kyle Korver extended his consecutive games streak with a made three to 80 games in the first quarter and finished with 11 points.
Josh McRoberts led the Bobcats with 19 points. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored all 16 of his points in the first half and attempted just one shot after halftime. Kemba Walker scored nine of his 12 in the first quarter while Gerald Henderson added 11. Jeff Taylor and Ramon Sessions added 10 each off the bench.
Atlanta is off on Tuesday and is back at home Wednesday night for an ESPN matchup against the New York Knicks.