ATLANTA -- It couldn't have started worse for the Hawks. It could have ended better.
After falling behind by 11 points to start the game, the Hawks rallied for an 83-80 victory over the Houston Rockets at Philips Arena on Friday night.
Kyle Korver hit two free throws with 15.9 seconds left. Jeremy Lin answered with a deep two-pointer with 6.5 seconds left. Korver then hit two more free throws with 5.3 seconds left. The Rockets failed to get off a shot as the final buzzer sounded.
The Hawks (20-17, 14-5 home) won their second straight included Wednesday's win over the Pacers. They snapped a six-game losing streak to the Rockets.
Korver and Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 20 points apiece. Mike Scott added 14 points. Korver extended his NBA-record streak to 106 games with a 3-pointer.
The Hawks led by six points, 73-67, in the fourth quarter. The Rockets answered with a 9-0 run to re-take the lead with three minutes remaining. A Korver 3-pointer evened the score with 2:41 remaining. After a James Harden basket, DeMarre Carroll hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining to give the Hawks a 79-78 lead and setting up Korver's final four free throws.
The Rockets (23-14, 8-9 road) had a two-game win streak snapped. James Harden led the Rockets with 25 points. Dwight Howard returned to his hometown in a new uniform and had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks came a long way from the 29-point loss the Harden-less Rockets in Houston in November.
The Hawks took a 65-60 advantage into the final quarter as the finally fought all the way back from an 11-point deficit. Korver hit the second of back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the score, 57-57, with 3:58 left in the period. Millsap scored on the ensuing possession with 2:57 remaining for their first lead of the game.
The Hawks trailed 41-39 at halftime after an awful start. They missed their first nine shots and even had their first basket disallowed for a shot-clock violation. They trailed 11-0 before Mike Scott ended the drought. They were 1 of 13 before Scott scored again.
The Hawks trailed 18-10 after the first quarter, their lowest scoring output of any quarter this season. Scott had eight of the Hawks' first 10 points. They shot 5 of 22 (22.7 percent) in the opening period.
Korver hit a 3-pointer with 9:02 left in the second quarter, the first points by a Hawks starter, as the Hawks ended the half on a 22-14 run to pull within two points at intermission. Scott finished with 12 first-half points that including four dunks. The Hawks' 39 points matched their season low for first-half points, done three other times.
The Hawks tried to keep Howard away from the basket with Pero Antic at center.
"That is hopefully putting Pero at his strength and pulling Dwight away from the rim where he is very good and effective," coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. "In theory it sounds good. We'll see if it works." The Rockets did a lot of defensive switching to have Howard guard Millsap and negate the strategy.
The Hawks next play at the Grizzlies for departing for next week's game against the Nets in London.
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