Jeff Teague finished with a game-high 26 points while Al Horford and Paul Millsap logged double-doubles as the Atlanta Hawks held off the Chicago Bulls 102-100 for their fourth straight win.
Teague scored 20 of his 26 points after halftime including 14 in the third quarter to help the Hawks build a lead. Atlanta pushed their advantage to as many as 15 points in the third before the Bulls chipped away and entered the fourth trailing 80-71.
The fourth quarter had a playoff feel to it as the game slowed down and the battle formed in the paint. As the Bulls threatened, the Hawks never blinked and some pinpoint shooting from the free throw line was the difference in the game. Atlanta connected on 22 of 25 attempts from the line in the game and were 10 of 12 in the fourth quarter alone. Teague hit all eight of his attempts as he again played the role of closer down the stretch.
Thabo Sefolosha returns to Hawks lineup
Thabo Sefolosha was listed as questionable for Monday's game with a tender ankle but logged 23 minutes off of Atlanta's bench. He finished the game with just two points and two rebounds but was a major factor along with Kent Bazemore in holding Jimmy Butler to a 5 for 16 shooting night.
With a playoff spot all but assured, the Hawks may opt to rest Sefolosha a few games down the stretch. His presence off the bench will be a huge factor for Atlanta in the postseason and the Hawks need him rested and healthy for what they hope will be a lengthy run.
Hardaway Jr cooling off
March has been a coming out month for Tim Hardaway Jr who has emerged as a key piece of Atlanta's attack off the bench. After putting up unbelievable shooting numbers through the first few games of March, Hardaway has come back down to earth in the last three. He has totaled just 12 points on 4 for 21 shooting over the last three games and is 1 for 11 from three-point range over that span.
The good news for Atlanta is that he has continued to compete defensively and move the basketball despite his shooting struggles. Part of his struggles can be traced back to opposing defenses paying more attention to him along with a simple regression to the mean.
Hardaway has been a hot and cold player throughout his career and that isn't likely to change while in an Atlanta uniform. The Hawks offense will continue to produce him shots and punish teams that overplay against him. The important part is that he stick to the plan and he appears to be doing that quite well.