The Hawks have lost five of six at home and 12 of 16 overall, a freefall since starting the season 9-2 and tying for the Eastern Conference lead.
Millsap’s 15-foot jumper gave the Hawks a 95-94 lead with 3:51 remaining, but Belinelli answered with a layup, and the Hornets never trailed again. Williams ended the last trace of a threat, hitting a 3-pointer with 27.8 seconds left to make it a five-point game.
Charlotte ended its five-game road trip, all against Eastern opponents, with a much-needed win. The Hornets started the first quarter 4 of 16, but went on a 30-10 run to take a 12-point lead as the Hawks went cold in the second.
Atlanta went on a 13-1 run to pull within four midway through the third, and Hardaway hit a pair of free throws with 7:41 remaining to make it 87-86 for Atlanta’s first lead since the final minute of the first.
Howard and Zeller then had a minor scrape that resulted in technical fouls on both players.
The Hawks had a moment of silence before the game for Turner Sports personality Craig Sager, a longtime Atlanta resident who died of leukemia Thursday in his adopted hometown. Sager, an NBA sideline reporter known for his outrageous sport coats and ties, was honored with “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes and players standing on the court with the house lights down.
Hornets: Walker returned after having an excused absence for a personal matter and missing Friday’s loss at Boston. … The Hornets had lost five straight and 10 of 11 at Philips Arena.
Hawks: Hardaway started his fifth straight game for Kent Bazemore, who recently missed two games with a knee injury. Bazemore had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes in his longest time on the court since returning two games ago.
Hornets: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
Hawks: Visit Oklahoma City on Monday.