DeMarre Carroll Leads Hawks Past Heat, 99-86

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Pregame Notes:

  • The Hawks clinched the Southeast Division title, the first division crown since taking the Central in 1993.
  • With a win tonight and Cavaliers loss, Atlanta will clinch the first seed in the Eastern Conference for the NBA Playoffs. It would be the 2nd time in franchise history.
  • Hawks are 30-5  at Philips Arena this season, the best home record in the East and 2nd in the NBA
  • Kyle Korver needs two 3FGM to tie Mookie Blaylock (199) for third on the Hawks’ all-time single season list

 

They’re first in the Eastern Conference, they’ve already won their division, and their bench is deep enough that you’ll never know who will take that last second shot. The Atlanta Hawks have bounced back in dramatic fashion this year. After starting the season full of controversy and even rumors of relocating, its safe to say that they’ve far surpassed even the fans’ expectations.

That will ultimately be decided come playoff time, but for now, the Hawks have been quite the sight this season. Going back to the “you never know who will take that last second shot,” in tonight’s game it was DeMarre Carroll that stood tall for the Hawks and had a tremendous game. His monster 1st Half performance of 19 points, 2 steals, and 4 rebounds, lead the charge against a very weak Miami Heat team who was losing 37-55 at halftime.

The Hawks weren’t even at “full strength” and I say that because they’re bench is so deep that the starting lineup changes from day to day. With Jeff Teague and Mike Scott inactive, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford held it down for the home team.

Al Horford ended the game with 15 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Paul Millsap has had a season to remember, registering 21 points, 1 steal, 4 assists, and 9 rebounds.

The Hawks caught their lead early and never let up. With a sold out crowd to support the home team and the free concert from 2 Chainz, the evening turned out to be a fun, memorable evening. If the fans weren’t cheering the many celebrities in the house or one of the three musical performances, their biggest lead at one point reached 26 points. Furthermore to support their broad talent from starters to supporting cast, everyone that played more than a minute scored. Only Austin Daye, who played 44 seconds failed to score.

Thabo Sefolosha and Mike Muscala nabbed 6 and 5 rebounds respectively, Shelvin Mack had 5 assists and 2 steals, and Kent Bazemore scored 5 points.

For the Heat, Luol Deng carried the brunt of the weight scoring a team-high 17 points, with support from Henry Walker (12 pts), Dwyane Wade (13 pts), and Mario Chalmers (13).

A Bosh-less Heat were no match for the Hawks, who laid down a 99-86 whooping in front of their home fans. Monday the Hawks will be back to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

-Jon J.

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