Hawks eye 3rd straight win vs. Celtics

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks will try to push their winning streak to three games Tuesday night when they welcome the Boston Celtics to Philips Arena.

The Hawks dropped the opener to their four-game homestand versus the Toronto Raptors, but there's no shame in that. Since, Atlanta knocked off the New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets.

On Saturday, the Hawks demolished their Southeast Division rivals, the Hornets, 105-75.

Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half and Atlanta led by as many as 44 in the easy victory over the Hornets.

Mike Scott had 14 points, Dennis Schroder scored 12 and the two bench players led a 20-0 run that helped give the Hawks a 64-28 lead at halftime.

Atlanta's reserves, led by Scott and Schroder, scored 52 points in the game.

"At some point in the season we're going to be needed," said reserve forward Elton Brand, who scored nine points against Charlotte. "So to get preparation, in-game experiences, it's great for us."

Starters also played well in the lopsided win. Kyle Korver (12), Al Horford (11) and DeMarre Carroll (10) also scored in double figures, while Jeff Teague only had six points, but handed out 10 assists.

The Celtics have been reeling with four consecutive losses and seven setbacks in their last eight. Boston dropped all three on a recent homestand, and returns to Beantown for three straight after Tuesday's affair.

On Sunday, the Celtics fell victim to the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, 111-89.

"The Spurs play the right way all the time," said Boston coach Brad Stevens. "They do it for 48 minutes. They do it for 82 games."

The game was closer than the final score indicated.

Each team led by as much as nine in the first half, with the Celtics holding a 49-45 edge at the break.

A tight third quarter featured seven lead changes and three ties. With the score tied 69-69, San Antonio ended the frame on a 9-4 spurt.

Boston got within 80-77 early in the fourth, but the Spurs responded with a 19-3 run. Aaron Baynes tallied nine points during the surge, including a layup with 4:38 remaining to make it 99-80.

Jeff Green ended with 16 points for the Celtics, who are 2-3 on the road this season. Evan Turner and Avery Bradley donated 12 and 11 points, respectively. Brandon Bass and Marcus Thornton each had 10 points for the Celtics.

The Hawks took two of three from the Celtics last season, but Boston is 7-4 in its last 11 versus Atlanta. The two teams split the last eight meetings at Philips Arena.