Warriors ease past Hawks 111-97 in return home
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- David Lee had 18 points and six rebounds, reserve Jermaine O'Neal added 17 points and eight rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors returned home to beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-97 Friday night for their third straight win.
Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry each scored 13 points to help the Warriors build a 66-52 halftime lead and go ahead by 20 in the fourth quarter. Golden State, fresh off a 4-2 road trip, is 8-2 since the All-Star break and beginning to look like the team that roared to the second-round of the playoffs last year.
Paul Millsap had 16 points and seven rebounds after missing the last five games because of a bruised right knee for the Hawks, who have lost five straight. Mike Scott added 14 points and DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague scored nine points apiece as Atlanta continued its late-season slide.
Golden State began a stretch of nine of 11 and 13 of its final 20 games at Oracle Arena. The Warriors want to use the finishing stretch to re-establish their home-court advantage and make a run at the Los Angeles Clippers, who are four games ahead in the Pacific Division.
The Warriors, who needed Iguodala's 3-pointer as time expired to beat the Hawks 101-100 in Atlanta on Jan. 3, allowed little drama in the rematch.
Draymond Green's 3-pointer capped a run that put the Warriors ahead 97-77 with 6:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. The depleted Hawks, with big men Al Horford and Gustavo Ayon out for the season, never seriously challenged.
The only major setback for the Warriors came when shooting guard Klay Thompson limped to the locker room six minutes into the first quarter with a strained lower back. He did not return for precautionary reasons, the team said.
Thompson has been Golden State's most durable player the past three years. He has played in a franchise-record 211 straight regular-season games to start his career.
The teams traded baskets for most of the first half until the Warriors put together a thrilling 12-1 spurt in the closing minutes.
Green intercepted a pass near center court and then lobbed a no-look, alley-oop pass to Harrison Barnes. On Atlanta's next possession, Barnes blocked Scott's layup against the glass, and Curry converted a finger-roll layup through traffic on the other end to give Golden State a 66-52 lead at the break.
Millsap moved Atlanta within four early in the third quarter, but he had little help inside. The Warriors led 85-77 entering the fourth quarter before pulling away big.
NOTES: Curry has made at least one 3-pointer in 51 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA after Kyle Korver's league-record 127-game streak ended in Atlanta's loss at Portland on Wednesday. Korver was 1-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc against the Warriors. ... The Hawks play at the Clippers on Saturday night. ... The Warriors host Phoenix on Sunday.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP