Trailing by seven at halftime, the Atlanta Hawks kicked things into high gear after the intermission and soared past the Los Angeles Lakers by a final score of 114-100 in front of the home crowd at Phillips Arena on Monday night. Point guard Jeff Teague snapped out of a recent slump to lead the Hawks to the 14-point victory.
Before taking the floor for this contest, Teague had averaged just 10.4 points and 6.2 assists over the previous five games, well shy of his season totals. The fifth-year pro regained his true form against the Lakers. Closing out the evening with 17 points and 10 assists, the former Wake Forest standout headed up the Hawks’ 67-point second-half assault.
Backing Teague up in the comeback effort, two-time All-Star Al Horford recorded his seventh double-double of the 2013-14 campaign. The Hawks’ center shot 9-of-17 from the field while putting up 19 points, 11 boards and five assists.
Lending even further support, Paul Millsap continued to endear himself to the Atlanta fan base with yet another big performance. The 28-year-old forward continued his dominant play in December by throwing down a line of 18 points, nine rebounds and four steals. With every game that goes by, Millsap is making former Hawks’ star Josh Smith seem more and more like a distant memory.
Coming into the season, these three individuals were expected to shoulder the load and carry the Hawks to a seventh consecutive playoff berth. Now 13-12 and sitting third in the Eastern Conference, the trio has the team headed in the right direction.