Hawks, Hornets collide in Charlotte

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Charlotte Hornets snapped a few losing streaks last
time out and will try to sustain the momentum Friday night when the Atlanta
Hawks pay a visit to Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Hornets halted a three-game slide Wednesday night with a 96-89 home
victory over the Miami Heat. That triumph also laid to rest a 16-game regular-
season losing streak to the four-time reigning Eastern Conference champions.

“To come back and bounce back against a team we haven’t beaten in a while in
front of our crowd is something we’ve got to build off of,” center Al
Jefferson said.

Jefferson poured in 28 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Hornets, who, if
you count last season’s first-round sweep in the Eastern Conference
semifinals, hadn’t beaten the Heat in 4 1/2 years.

Kemba Walker delivered 18 points and seven assists to help Charlotte. Cody
Zeller chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

The Hornets held the Heat under 40 percent from the field and under 20 percent
from long range.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed his second straight contest with a rib
contusion. He is listed as questionable for Friday.

Charlotte heads west after Friday’s contest. The Hornets will face the Los
Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors
on the sojourn.

The Hawks fell to 0-2 on the road in the early portion of their schedule
thanks to a 94-92 heartbreaker Wednesday night in San Antonio against the

Manu Ginobili made a pair of free throws with 13.6 seconds remaining. The
Hawks didn’t get a great look to try and tie, or win, as Pero Antic was
blocked from near half-court by Boris Diaw.

DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap each tallied 17 points for the Hawks, while
Al Horford netted 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Mike Scott
chipped in 12 off the bench.

“We’re going to make shots,” said Millsap. “Our main thing is getting out
there and competing. We competed tonight.”

The Hawks shot 41.3 percent from the field and forced plenty of San Antonio
turnovers. The Spurs committed 21 miscues, but outrebounded Atlanta, 50-37.

The Hawks have a home-and-home with the New York Knicks, starting at home

Atlanta is 11-1 in its last 12 against its fellow Southeast Division rivals.
The Hawks have won six straight and seven of their last eight in Charlotte.