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Warriors 111, Hawks 97

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Reserve guard Steve Blake opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and the Golden State Warriors held the Atlanta Hawks scoreless for the first 6:52 of the period en route to a runaway, 111-97 victory Friday night.

The win was the Warriors' eighth in 10 games since the All-Star break and allowed them to retain the No. 6 playoff position in the Western Conference with 19 games to play. Golden State (39-24) hosts its two closest rivals in the playoff race -- Phoenix and Dallas -- in its next two games.

Shooting 46.3 percent for three quarters, the Hawks (26-34) managed to stay within 85-77 heading into the fourth period. Power forward Paul Millsap, returning from a five-game absence due to a bruised right knee, had 16 points in just 18 minutes of play through three quarters.

But after Atlanta missed its first two shots of the fourth period, Blake drained his 3-pointer to extend the Golden State lead to 88-77. It was a double-digit margin the rest of the way.

The Hawks committed turnovers on their next four possessions, then missed six consecutive shots -- sandwiching two more turnovers -- in their nearly seven-minute drought.

The Warriors, meanwhile, added nine points to their lead during the stretch, capped by reserve forward Draymond Green's 3-pointer with 6:10 remaining that made it a 20-point game at 97-77.

Backup guard Shelvin Mack ended Atlanta's scoreless spell with a 20-footer at the 5:08 mark of the period, but it came well too late to prevent Atlanta's fifth consecutive loss.

Centers Jermaine O'Neal (17 points, eight rebounds) and Andrew Bogut (10 points, nine rebounds) combined for 27 points and 17 rebounds in a tag-team effort for the Warriors, who needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by small forward Andre Iguodala to win 101-100 at Atlanta earlier this season.

Power forward David Lee added 18 points, while point guard Stephen Curry and Iguodala chipped in with 13 apiece for Golden State, which began a stretch in which it plays 13 of its final 20 games at home.

The Warriors made 53.8 percent of their shots in the game.

Millsap finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes for the Hawks, who have now lost 13 of their last 14. He hit six of his 14 shots.

Reserves Mike Scott (14) and Pero Antic (10) also scored in double figures for Atlanta, which completed a five-game road trip Saturday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers. Scott missed six of his seven 3-point shots on a night when the Hawks connected on just eight of 34 from beyond the arc.

The Hawks remained winless on the road in February (0-6) and March (0-3).

The Warriors played the final 42 minutes without starting shooting guard Klay Thompson, who strained his lower back on a hard fall following a drive to the hoop. The injury is not considered to be serious.

Coming off a 102-78 shellacking at Portland on Wednesday, the Hawks hung with the Warriors for the better part of the first half, trailing just 56-52 with 3:10 left in the second quarter.

But Golden State closed the period with a 10-0 flurry, taking their biggest lead of the half -- 66-52 -- into the break.

Curry capped the run with a driving hoop that completed a 13-point half. The All-Star did not score in the second half.

NOTES: The Hawks had gone 1-4, losing the last four, with PF Paul Millsap out of the lineup. Their average margin of defeat in those four losses was 12.0 points. ... Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was assured before the game that Millsap would be brought back slowly, noting, "We're going to limit him, make sure we're keeping him moving in the right direction." ... When Hawks SG Kyle Korver had his 127-game streak with at least one 3-point field goal snapped Wednesday in Portland, Warriors PG Stephen Curry snatched the distinction of having the longest such streak at 50 games prior to Friday's action. ... The Warriors entered the game having allowed opponents to shoot just 41.1 percent from the field in their nine games since the All-Star break. Only Portland (40.8) had a better figure over that stretch through Thursday's games. ... Warriors coach Mark Jackson insisted he's not scoreboard-watching even though his team is in a tight playoff race, claiming, "In life, I don't look back. I'm keeping a close eye on the Warriors. That's all that matters to me."
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