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Hawks continue dominance of Bobcats 97-83

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Paul Millsap scored 28 points, and the Atlanta Hawks snapped the Charlotte Bobcats’ eight-game home winning with a 97-83 victory Monday night.

It was Atlanta’s 11th straight win over Charlotte. The Hawks have won four straight, pulling within 1 1/2 games of the Bobcats for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Pero Antic had 11 points and 10 rebounds and DeMarre Carroll scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks open an 18-point lead.

Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 20 points.

Al Jefferson, who was selected the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his 30th double-double of the season but was just 6 of 15 from the field.

The Bobcats led by six at halftime, but went cold in the second half shooting 29 percent (11 of 38) from the field.

Charlotte shot 35 percent for the game.

The Bobcats shot just 4 of 19 from the field in the third quarter and watched a six-point halftime lead turn into an eight-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and they could never mount a serious threat after that point.

Carroll made sure there was no comeback, with a pair of dunks and a 3-pointer.

Antic came in averaging 13 points in four straight starts and hit a pair of 3-pointers early on to help set the tone.

The Hawks were 13 of 34 from 3-point range and showed good ball movement throughout the game, repeatedly getting open looks at the basket.

For the second straight game, the Bobcats struggled on offense, looking out of sync and taking poor shots.

The Bobcats (33-35) were looking to tie a franchise record with their ninth straight win at home and pull even at .500, but failed to put up much of a fight in a sluggish second half. It was a second straight game the Bobcats had poor ball movement on offense, although they were able to pull out a win over the weekend at Milwaukee.

The Hawks continue to have Charlotte’s number.

They have defeated the Bobcats three times this season, including a 118-116 home overtime victory on Dec. 28. Millsap also led all scorers in that outing with 33 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bobcats have been thriving in the paint this season, but were limited to just 24 on Monday night. The Hawks scored 38 points inside the paint.

NOTES: Millsap scored 20 or more points for the 24th time this season. … Walker has scored in double figures 51 times this season for the Bobcats.