The Atlanta Hawks capture their second straight impressive win on the road 93-88 over the Brooklyn Nets. The victory snaps Brooklyn's 15-game home winning streak and reduces Atlanta's magic number to just one with three games left to play.
Atlanta fell behind early but rallied with a 39 points second quarter to take a 55-47 lead at halftime. Jeff Teague scored 14 of his 22 points in the second quarter as he clearly got the best of his little brother Marquis Teague. Brooklyn was shorthanded in their backcourt with Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson all sitting out for a variety of ailments. Teague took advantage as both Marquis and Jorge Gutierrez struggled to contain him.
Atlanta led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter before the Nets fought back to take the lead. Atlanta didn't blink as Paul Millsap once again came up big in the second half. Millsap scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the second half. He also grabbed 10 rebounds to record his seventh straight double-double.
Mason Plumlee put Brooklyn ahead 88-87 with a three-point play with 2:22 remaining in the fourth. Millsap countered at the other end by blowing by Paul Pierce for a ridiculous reverse layup over Plumlee to put Atlanta back in front by one. A possession later, Teague was initially whistled for a charging foul against Gutierrez that was eventually overturned after the officials looked at the replay. Teague made both free throws and extended Atlanta's lead to three points. Teague finished the Nets off with a floater in the lane to put Atlanta up five with 19 seconds to go to preserve the victory.
Atlanta wins despite having an uncharacteristically bad night from three-point range where they were 1-19. Atlanta made up for it at the free throw line where they were 20-21. Brooklyn on the other hand struggled at the stripe going 14-25 and were just 4-9 in the fourth quarter.
Plumlee led the Nets with 17 points off the bench while Marcus Thornton finished with 14. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson combined to score 22 points but were a collective 9-29 from the floor.
With the win, Atlanta remains two games ahead of the New York Knicks who defeated the Toronto Raptors 108-100. The Hawks are back in action on Saturday when they host the Miami Heat at Philips Arena. The Knicks play again on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls. A Hawks win or a Knicks loss will clinch the seventh straight playoff appearance for Atlanta.