By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
Behind a game high 22 points and 10 rebounds from Paul MIllsap, the Atlanta Hawks set a franchise record, extending their winning streak to 15 games with a103-93 home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Philips Arena.
The win improved Atlanta’s record to 36-8 while Oklahoma City dropped to 22-21.
The Hawks are now 29-2 over their last 31 contests and 28 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season.
Al Horford also notched a double-double for Atlanta, scoring 14 points and grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague just fell short of a double-double himself, scoring 17 points and dishing out nine assists. Other players in double-figures scoring for Atlanta was DeMarre Carroll (13 points) and Dennis Schroder (13 points) off the bench.
“Its great to play in front of a crowd like that,” Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “ We talk about playing for 48 minutes on both ends of the court. Eventually we found a few ways to get a couple of stops and a couple of buckets.”
The Hawks shot 48.2 percent from the field in the victory, making 10 out of 25 three-pointers. Atlanta also outrebounded Oklahoma City 36-27 and dished out 27 assists.
“I’m happy for our guys to have success,” Budenholzer said. “It’s a carry-over from the work on the court and the work in the film room before practice and after practice. Our guys deserve to have an opportunity to do something.”
Russell Westbrook had a team-high 22 points and 11 assists for the Thunder. Kevin Durant scored 21 points, making eight out of 22 field goal attempts. He converted three out of nine three-pointer attempts. Serge Ibaka scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Overall, the Thunder finished the game with a 41.4 field goal percentage, making 10 three-pointer attempts out of 26.
Atlanta made all 13 free throw attempts while Oklahoma City made 11 out of 18.
“”We didn’t have good defensive disposition,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. “I thought tonight you have to give them (Hawks) credit. They’re a good team. They have so many good players on the floor and they’re all skilled.”
Atlanta took a 48-47 lead into halftime. Carroll had a team-high 10 points for the Hawks who shot 45 percent from the field in the first half. Atlanta made four out of 12 three-pointers. Horford grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and scored six points.
Westbrook scored a game-high 13 first-half points for Oklahoma City while Durant had 12 points. The Thunder shot 39 percent and converted four out of nine threes.
The Hawks are:
- 15-1 when outrebounding the opponent
- 27-1 when holding opponent under 100 points
- 15-0 at home when holding opponents under 100 points
- 34-3 when holding opponents under .500 FG%
- 25-4 when scoring 100-or-more points
- 27-2 when posting 40-plus rebounds