USA TODAY Sports
A big third quarter by the New Orleans Hornets helped send the Atlanta Hawks to a 111-100 loss Friday night at Philips Arena.
The Atlanta Hawks led by as many as 14 points early but didn't have any answers in the second half falling to the New Orleans Hornets 111-100. It was a familiar tune for Hawks fans of late as Atlanta seemed to relax defensively after building a big second quarter lead.
The Hawks jumped out to a 26-25 lead after one and quickly built a 14 point lead in the second quarter. New Orleans mounted a rally to end the half and carried that over to the third quarter. New Orleans outscored the Hawks 29-16 coming out of the half as Atlanta went from five points up to looking at an eight point deficit.
The Hawks made a couple of runs in the fourth and cut the lead to 98-94on a dunk by Al Horford with 3:36 remaining. However, the Hornets answered on the next possession as Ryan Anderson's long three-point attempt hit front rim and bounced up off the backboard and through the basket to extend the lead back to seven and ending the threat.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists. He hit 9-19 shots and was 3-5 from long range. Jeff Teague added 21 points and nine assists but also committed six turnovers. Kyle Korver broke the franchise record for consecutive games with a made three and finished with 17 points. Al Horford chipped in 12 points and six rebounds.
Eric Gordon scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Hornets. Greivis Vasquez finished with a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Anderson hit 4-7 from three point range and finished with 19 points off the bench.
Turnovers played a huge part in New Orleans' comeback. The Hornets turned the ball over 11 times in the first half but only three times throughout the remainder of the game. The Hawks on the other hand turned the ball 17 times with eight coming in the second half.
New Orleans out rebounded the Hawks 44-33 and had an 11-5 advantage on the offensive glass. That led to a 22-13 Hornets advantage in second chance points.
The loss drops the Hawks to 27-22 on the season. They will get a couple of days off before returning to action on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks at Philips Arena.