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Hawks vs Hornets final score: Atlanta's reserves come up short in Charlotte

The Atlanta Hawks rested five starters but put up a good fight in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

A spirited effort by the Atlanta Hawks' reserves kept them in Saturday night's game but too much Kemba Walker and too much Mo Williams down the stretch was more than they could overcome in a 115-100 loss. With the No. 1 seed in hand, Mike Budenholzer elected to give the night off to his entire starting five. The reserves led by Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder put up a strong effort offensively but weren't able to get enough stops to pull out a victory.

The reserves put on a show with their offensive execution piling up 32 assists on 37 made baskets. They shot 43 percent from the field and knocked down 15-30 three-point attempts. Bazemore led the way with 20 points while Schroder logged his second straight double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. Mike Muscala made his third start of the season and also finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Defensively it wasn't as pretty as Charlotte road a hot shooting night to 115 points. The Hornets knocked down 53 percent of their field goal attempts for the game. Walker led the way with 21 points while Gerald Henderson added 20. Mo Williams played the role of Charlotte's closer scoring 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter including four made three-pointers.

Despite the hot shooting, the Hawks never went away as Charlotte would build a double digit lead only to watch Atlanta come roaring back. The Hornets outscored the Hawks 33-24 in the third to take control. Atlanta quickly cut into the lead in the fourth but Williams' offensive outburst was more than enough to thwart the comeback attempt.

With nine games remaining in the season, the focus for Atlanta is getting their roster healthy while also keeping them sharp to get ready for the playoffs. It is a delicate balancing act that Budenholzer will have to manage over the final two weeks of the regular season.

Atlanta is currently in a four games in five-days stretch and will open another home/road back-to-back on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks will travel to Detroit for a match up against the Pistons on Tuesday.