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Murray leads Hawks to 8th straight home win

POSTED: March 24, 2009 12:40 a.m.
John Amis/The Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks guard Mike Bibby, left, keeps the ball away from Minnesota Timberwolves forward Brian Cardinal (14) during the second half Monday in Atlanta. Atlanta won 109-97.

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ATLANTA — Flip Murray scored a season-best 30 points, and Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson each added 20 as the Atlanta Hawks won their season-high eighth straight home game, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-97 on Monday night.

It was Atlanta’s eighth win in nine games and the Hawks are 28-7 at Philips Arena. It was the fifth straight loss for the Timberwolves.

The home streak is the longest for Atlanta since Nov. 12, 1996-Feb. 12, 1997, when the Hawks won 20 in row.

The Hawks built a 26-point lead in the third period before Minnesota got it to 10 at 80-70 with 6:08 left on Bobby Brown’s 3.

That’s when Murray, who had 14 points in the second quarter, took over with four 3-pointers in a three-minute span to give the Hawks a 103-83 lead with 2:27 left.

Al Horford added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks.

Randy Foye led Minnesota with 19 points, while Kevin Love added 17.

The Hawks had won seven straight at home before losing at Cleveland 102-96 on Saturday. The Hawks play three more games at home this week before heading on the road, where they are 14-22.

Atlanta trailed 18-15 before outscoring Minnesota 23-3 during an eight-minute span that began late in the first period, taking a 38-21 lead 8:07 before halftime on Joe Johnson’s basket. Johnson and Murray had seven points apiece during the run.

The Hawks opened up a 58-36 lead at halftime with Mike Bibby hitting seven of eight shots for 15 points. Atlanta shot 15-of-21 (71 percent) in the second quarter, outscoring the Timberwolves 35-18. Love had 13 points for Minnesota.

The Hawks built a 26-point lead at 67-41 on Johnson’s basket with 7:48 left in the third period.Notes: The Hawks won a franchise-best 22 straight home games in the 1990-91 season. ... Atlanta G Acie Law missed his second straight game due to pain in his lower back. ... The Hawks beat Minnesota 94-86 in their only other meeting this season and have won six in a row over the Timberwolves . ... Atlanta’s next three home games are against San Antonio (Wednesday), Boston (Friday) and the Los Angeles Lakers (Sunday).



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