Hawks hand Celtics sixth straight loss


By CHARLES ODUM

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Kyle Korver said the Hawks owed the Celtics a big comeback.

This one was really big.

Korver scored 27 points, most on 3-pointers, and Atlanta overcame a 27-point deficit in the first half to beat Boston 123-111 in double-overtime on Friday night, handing the Celtics their sixth straight loss.

Boston’s biggest lead came in the second quarter. Korver remembered the Hawks led by 19 points, also in the second period, before the Celtics rallied for an 89-81 win in Atlanta on Jan. 5.

“We had a good example of how to come back from what they did to us the last time,” Korver said.

Jeff Teague had 23 points for Atlanta before fouling out in the first overtime. Al Horford had 24 points — including seven in the second overtime — and 13 rebounds. Josh Smith, who opened the second overtime with a three-point play, had 17 points and 14 rebounds.

The Celtics (20-23) fell three games under .500.

“It’s definitely a tough pill to swallow,” said Paul Pierce. “We’ve got to have some sort of discipline. That’s the key word for us. It is cause for concern. We’ve got to come in with the mindset to play for 48 minutes.”

Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 10 rebounds but fouled out in the second overtime as the Celtics were left with their longest losing streak in six years.

Rajon Rondo had 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his fifth triple-double of the season.

“We had a chance to put this game away, man. We didn’t do that,” Garnett said. “We gave a team life. You can’t do that.

“Korver came out, obviously got hot, and we couldn’t turn it off.”

Korver had all of his career-high eight 3-pointers in the second half, setting a franchise record, and five in the fourth quarter.

“When you make some shots, all of a sudden you get better screens and you get better passes,” Korver said.

Korver’s eighth 3, with 2:26 remaining in regulation, cut Boston’s lead to 98-96. Horford’s two free throws with 1 minute remaining tied the game at 98-all to set up the first overtime.

With the game tied at 105-all in the first overtime, Courtney Lee’s steal from Horford set up Lee’s two free throws to give Boston the lead, but Smith tied the game with a jam.

Pierce, who had 12 points, missed a jumper at the end of the first overtime.

“It seems we let our foot up off the gas,” Rondo said. “We have to stay positive and continue to move forward and try to dig our way out of this hole.”

The Hawks outscored the Celtics 16-4 in the second overtime.

Jeff Green had 17 points for Boston. Courtney Lee had 16 points and Avery Bradley had 14.

Boston appeared headed for a rout when it led 48-21 in the second quarter.

“The most important part is how we didn’t lay down in the second half,” Smith said.

“We didn’t get discouraged. We came out in the second half and played outstanding. … We applied a little pressure and took the fight to them in the second half.”

Atlanta trailed 57-38 at halftime following a modest recovery.

The Hawks’ comeback gained strength as they outscored the Celtics 21-2 to open the second half, including a 19-0 run for a 59-all tie. Korver had three 3-pointers in the run.

The comeback was Atlanta’s biggest since at least the 2000-01 season, according to STATS LLC.

“This is probably one of the most amazing comebacks I’ve been associated with,” said Hawks coach Larry Drew, who said he was including his years as a player and a coach.

It was Atlanta’s third straight win following four losses in five games.

“This was a very gutsy win for us,” Drew said. “It shows what we’re made of. It shows we have the ability to persevere.”

The Hawks led 80-77 after Korver’s fifth 3-pointer, but the Celtics regained the lead on back-to-back baskets by Pierce and Courtney Lee.

Horford started after missing one game with a sore left calf, and Devin Harris had 14 points in a backup role after missing two games with a sprained left ankle.

THUNDER 105, KINGS 95

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Kevin Durant had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Kevin Martin scored 24 points and Oklahoma City overcame a slow start to overwhelm Sacramento.

Russell Westbrook added 18 points and a season-high 14 assists to anchor a 28-10 run to start the third quarter. The spurt helped Oklahoma City go ahead by 25 points and improve to 3-2 on its season-long six-game road trip, which ends Sunday at the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Thunder have won eight of 10 to climb to the top of the NBA standings.

Tyreke Evans scored 16 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 14 points and eight rebounds on a difficult night shooting for the Kings, who have lost three straight and four of five.

SPURS 113, MAVERICKS 107

DALLAS — Tony Parker returned from a cut above the same eye he injured in a nightclub incident last summer and scored 23 points to lead San Antonio over Dallas.

Parker missed about a quarter in the first half when he took three stitches above his left eye after a collision with Elton Brand on a drive. He nearly lost the eye in June when shards of glass embedded in his cornea after he got caught in a bottle-throwing melee in New York.

Tim Duncan stayed home with a sore right knee, but DeJuan Blair made up for his absence by scoring a season-high 22 points.

Rodrigue Beaubois led the Mavericks with a season-high 19 points.

HEAT 110, PISTONS 88

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 29 points and sparked a pivotal run to help Miami earn its fourth victory in a row by beating Detroit.

The Heat got even for a loss at Detroit on Dec. 28. They improved to 18-3 at home, while the Pistons fell to 4-16 on the road.

After falling behind by nine points, the Heat outscored Detroit 26-4 during a seven-minute stretch in the second quarter to take a 60-47 lead. Wade scored 15 points during the spurt.

LeBron James had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, who shot 56 percent. Over the past two seasons, they’re 34-2 when shooting at least 50 percent.

CAVALIERS 113, BUCKS 108

CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving scored 35 points and Cleveland rallied from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter to defeat Milwaukee.

Irving, voted an Eastern Conference reserve for next month’s All-Star Game in Houston on Thursday, scored 16 points in the third quarter to help Cleveland get back in the game. He added eight points down the stretch as the Cavaliers posted back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.

Cleveland, which trailed 79-59 midway through the third quarter, took a 96-95 lead on a 3-pointer by newly acquired Wayne Ellington with 6:31 to play. The basket was his first since joining the Cavaliers from Memphis on Tuesday, and it gave Cleveland the lead for good.

Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 30 points and Monta Ellis added 21, but the Bucks’ collapse ended their three-game winning streak.

WIZARDS 114, TIMBERWOLVES 101

WASHINGTON — John Wall had 14 points and five assists in his first start of the season, and no-longer-last Washington finally hit double digits in wins.

Wall, who came off the bench for the first seven games after his return from a knee injury, had assists on the Wizards’ first two baskets in a game in which Washington never trailed. He wowed the crowd with a nice spin move for a layup late in the first half and went 6 for 10 from the field in 21 minutes, his playing time still limited after missing 33 games with a stress injury to his left knee cap.

The Wizards are 5-3 since Wall’s return after going 5-28 without him. They’ve won four straight at home and no longer sit at the bottom of the NBA, their 10-31 record a half-game better than the Charlotte Bobcats’ 10-32.

BULLS 103, WARRIORS 87

CHICAGO — Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 25 points, hitting six of seven three-pointers in Chicago’s victory over Golden State.

Nate Robinson added 22 points off the bench in the Bulls’ third straight victory.

David Lee, the Warriors’ All-Star selection, scored 23 points. Stephen Curry added 21 for Golden State, which shot 34.6 percent from the field to snap a three-game winning streak.

Jimmy Butler had 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds starting in place of All-Star Luol Deng, who missed his fourth consecutive game due to a right hamstring injury.

Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, the Bulls’ other All-Star selection, also finished with double-doubles. Boozer had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Noah had 14 points and 16 rebounds.

GRIZZLIES 101, NETS 77

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Marc Gasol had 20 points and nine rebounds and Memphis built a 30-point lead in the second half en route to a victory over Brooklyn.

Gasol was 10 of 15 from the field, all of his points coming in the first half, as Memphis, which had seven players in double figures, won for the fourth time in the past five games.

Mike Conley made six of seven shots, including 2 of 3 outside the arc, for 14 points, while Zach Randolph had 12 points and matched Gasol’s nine rebounds.

Rudy Gay, Jerryd Bayless and Tony Wroten scored 11 apiece, while Chris Johnson, on a 10-day contract with Memphis, had 10 points.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 18 points, while Deron Williams scored 12, adding six assists. Joe Johnson and Reggie Evans scored 11 points each, with Evans grabbing 10 rebounds.

ROCKETS 100, HORNETS 82

NEW ORLEANS — James Harden had 30 points and Houston broke out of its worst slump of the season by beating New Orleans.

The Rockets, who had lost eight of nine and trailed by double digits in 12 straight games, led almost all the way this time. Harden scored 10 points and Patrick Patterson had six during a 16-2 run early in the third quarter as Houston took control, going ahead 64-46.

The Hornets never got closer than 10 the rest of the way, losing for only the third time in their past 10 games.

Patterson added 18 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Jeremy Lin had 13 points and eight assists for Houston.

 

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