ATLANTA -- Give the Thunder a sliver of an opening -- and they'll kick the door wide open.
The Hawks went cold for a three-minute stretch to end the first half and the Thunder turned it into a 101-92 victory Tuesday night at Philips Arena. They took a lead they would not relinquish -- although the Hawks made it interesting.
The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, cut the deficit to three in the fourth quarter. Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer to get the Hawks to 78-75 with 10:16 remaining. However, the Thunder answered with 10-0 run to regain control.
The Hawks stormed back again to pull within four points, 93-89, with 3:27 remaining. Shelvin Mack had eight points during the run, including two 3-pointers. A Mack jumper got the Hawks to within three points, 95-92, with 2:02 remaining.
The Thunder answered with a Russell Westbrook reverse layup and four free throws by Kevin Durant to pull away.
The Hawks (11-11, 7-4 home) had their two-game win streak snapped.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague and Shelvin Mack had 17 points each. It was a career-high for Mack.
Kyle Korver extended his NBA record streak to 91 straight games with a 3-pointer.
The Thunder (16-4, 6-4 road) have won three straight and 11 out of 12. They were led by Durant with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Serge Ibaka added 19 points and Westbrook had 14.
The Thunder opened a 13-point lead, 60-47, in the third quarter with an 8-0 run. The Hawks cut the deficit to six points -- thanks in large part to Teague -- before Reggie Jackson beat the third-quarter buzzer for a 76-68 advantage going into the final period.
Teague had 13 of the Hawks' 29 third-quarter points in the run.
The Thunder closed the second quarter with an 11-3 run to take a 48-39 lead into intermission. The nine-point advantage was the largest of a back-and-forth first half that featured 11 lead changes and seven ties.
The Hawks trailed while shooting just 33.3 percent (15 of 45) in the first half. Following a Millsap dunk with 3:21 remaining, the Hawks managed just a 3-pointer from Lou Williams the remainder of the half.
Durant had 14 points, including six from the free-throw line, and Westbrook had five points at the half. The Hawks main focus was to contain the two Thunder stars, who combine to average 50.2 of the team's 104.7 points.
"To have two elite perimeter scorers is a challenge (defensively) but we are not going to go up with some magic that the rest of the league hasn't tried or used," coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. "We'll mostly stick to our principles and try to be disciplined and try to be good and make it difficult for both Westbrook and Durant to score. Keep them off the free-throw line is a big thing and keep them out of transition. Those are the two areas that are probably the hardest. If you can make up some ground there overall you can keep them down a little bit." The Hawks conclude their four-game home stand Friday against the Wizards.
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