Bazemore, Horford propel Hawks past Hornets

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ATLANTA (AP) Kent Bazemore scored 14 points and Al Horford had 13 points and tied a season high with 16 rebounds to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Charlotte Hornets 87-76 on Sunday.

Marvin Williams finished with 16 points and Jeremy Lin scored 15 for Charlotte, which trailed the entire game. The Hornets were trying to be the first Charlotte team since 1996-97 to win eight games in February.

They pulled within two with 7 minutes left but couldn’t rally after scoring a season-worst nine points in the first quarter.

The Hawks ended a disappointing five-game home stand with two straight wins to pull two games ahead of third-place Charlotte in the Southeast Division.

Atlanta led by 10 in the first on Bazemore’s uncontested dunk. With his team down by 12, Hornets coach Steve Clifford called timeout at the 3:59 mark of the first, but Charlotte missed its next six shots and was 1 for 19 from the field before Lin hit a 3.

Kemba Walker, who was leading the Eastern Conference with a 24.1 points per game scoring average this month, finished with nine points on 3 for 15 shooting.

Paul Millsap had 13 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. 11 and Jeff Teague 10 for the Hawks.

Atlanta took its first 20-point lead on Mike Scott‘s layup early in the second and was up a game-high 24 on Millsap’s layup at the 7:53 mark.

Charlotte pulled within five early in the third on Courtney Lee‘s layup, but the Hornets went cold again and trailed 60-43 when Jeff Teague hit a 3 at 5:16.

Their last surge came in the fourth. Lin scored five unanswered points, Frank Kaminsky hit a floater on the baseline, and Jeremy Lamb scored to make it 70-68 with 7:22 remaining, but Charlotte never got any closer.

Horford hit a straightaway 3 and a layup to put the Hawks up by 13 with 1:53 remaining.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Williams hit three 3s in the second, the last one cutting the lead to 44-32. … Walker began the game at a career-best 37.3 percent on 3s but finished 0 for 7 beyond the arc. … Charlotte went just 7 for 32 on 3s.

Hawks: Hardaway beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 41-footer inside the half-court line to put Atlanta up 25-9. … The last time Atlanta allowed single digits in a quarter was Nov. 12, 2014 against Utah in the fourth. … The Hawks, who rank second in NBA assists, finished with 27, nine by Teague.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Host Phoenix on Tuesday.

Hawks: Visit Golden State on Tuesday.