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Millsap and Hawks slip by Rockets
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul Millsap scored 20 points with seven rebounds and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a six-game losing streak to the Houston Rockets with an 83-80 win on Friday night.
Kyle Korver also scored 20 points, while Mike Scott added 14 points off the bench in the win.
"I think the group is starting to trust each other defensively," said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. "It's just good to see that trust being built up. I'm really happy with the defensive effort against a very good offensive team."
James Harden filled the stat sheet with 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists for Houston, while Dwight Howard deposited 15 points with 11 rebounds.
Aaron Brooks and Jeremy Lin contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the defeat, which snapped a two-game winning streak for the Rockets.
Korver hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Hawks ended the final 5:31 of the third quarter on a 16-5 run. Atlanta grabbed its first lead of the game in the process and owned a 65-60 edge heading to the fourth.
Shelvin Mack made a layup to stake Atlanta to a 73-67 lead with 8:33 to play, but the Hawks then went ice cold from the floor as Houston went back in front.
Harden added 2-of-3 from the line at the 3:50 mark to give the Rockets a 74-73 lead.
Houston, however, didn't take full advantage of Atlanta's struggles. Lin followed Harden by making a pair at the line, but Korver halted Atlanta's near six-minute scoreless stretch with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 76-76.
Coming out of a timeout, Harden made a running floater in the lane to keep the momentum with the visitors, but DeMarre Carroll responded with a three from the far corner to take the lead right back for Atlanta.
With Houston still down by one, Brooks drove the lane while assuming Howard was cutting to the basket and skipped a pass out of bounds with 18.9 ticks on the clock.
Korver then knocked down a pair at the line with 15.9 seconds left to extend the lead to 81-78.
On the ensuing Houston possession, Harden drove and kicked out to Lin in the near corner, who buried what initially looked to be a 3-pointer. However, replay showed his right foot was on the line and officials changed it to a two-point basket.
Korver hit another pair from the line and Houston couldn't even get a shot off in the closing seconds, as Atlanta's defense suffocated Lin as he passed the ball when the horn sounded.
"We didn't matchup well in transition," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "They hurt us there at times. We couldn't make shots and we couldn't get the ball where we wanted to on the offensive end."
Howard and Harden led an 11-0 run to open the game for Houston, with Harden scoring seven points and Howard adding four to the sequence.
Scott scored Atlanta's first basket at the 6:07 mark of the first quarter on a hook shot from the block as no Hawks starter scored in the opening stanza. He scored eight points during a 10-4 run that cut the deficit to 15-10 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter.
Atlanta didn't score for the remainder of the period and trailed 18-10 after 12 minutes of play.
The Hawks trimmed the deficit to 41-39 at halftime.
Houston dropped to 10-3 against the East this season ... Houston outrebounded Atlanta, 44-40 ... The Rockets outscored the Hawks by a 42-32 margin in the paint 42-32, but Atlanta outscored Houston on the fastbreak by a 20-8 count ... The Hawks shot 10-for-11 (90.9 percent) from the charity stripe ... Atlanta's Elton Brand was 0-for-4 from the floor but pulled down 11 rebounds in the win.
01/10 23:39:43 ET