Published Friday, February 08, 2013
BY PAUL NEWBERRY
AP SPORTS WRITER
ATLANTA (AP) – Greivis Vasquez had his first career triple-double and Eric Gordon scored 27 points, leading New Orleans to a 111-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and a rare winning streak for the last-place Hornets.
Vasquez scored 21 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half and withstood a late charge by the stumbling Hawks.
Al Horford drove for a slam that cut the Hornets' lead to 98-94 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. But Ryan Anderson sank a 3-pointer that caught the front of the rim, bounced high off the backboard and fell through. Anderson pumped his right fist; the Hawks never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 23 points and Jeff Teague added 21.
Coming off a home victory over Phoenix, the young Hornets have just their fourth winning streak of the season. They put together a season-high four wins in a row last month, and only three other times have they won back-to-back games.
At the start, it looked as though the Hawks would win this one in a breeze. They led 45-31 after John Jenkins' free throw midway through the second quarter.
Atlanta lit it up from long range, shooting 9 of 16 from outside the arc in the first half. But New Orleans got hot near the end of the period, closing the gap to 55-50 by halftime.
The Hornets kept it up in the second half, leading by as many as 14 themselves. Vasquez knocked down three shots from 3-point range and Anderson went 4 of 7 beyond the line. New Orleans finished 45 of 86 from the field, including 9 of 16 from deep - even after coach Monty Williams complained before the game about his youthful players being too focused on shooting 3-pointers.
The new-look Hawks started the season as one of the NBA's most surprising teams, but they have struggled in the new year. Since Jan. 1, Atlanta has lost 12 of 19.
Kyle Korver went 3 of 6 from 3-point range, setting a franchise record with his 43rd consecutive game making at least one shot beyond the stripe. He broke the mark set by Mookie Blaylock, who had 42 in a row during the 1996-97 season.
NOTES: Hawks C Zaza Pachulia returned after missing four games with a sore right Achilles. He played 18 minutes, scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds. ... G Devin Harris played his second straight game for Atlanta after being bothered by a sore left foot. He had only two points. ... Anderson scored 19 for the Hornets, while Robin Lopez chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds.
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