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Hawks smother hot Bobcats

ATLANTA -- Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, Al Horford had 23 and the Atlanta Hawks overwhelmed Charlotte with dominating performances in the first and third quarters, beating the Bobcats 103-89 Friday night.

The first-place Hawks made 11 straight shots in the opening period and raced to a 16-point lead. Charlotte turned it around in the second quarter, closing the gap to 47-43 by halftime.

Then, just like that, Atlanta turned it back on again. The Hawks made 12 of 18 shots, converted a trio of three-point plays and stretched the margin back out to 22 points.

Gerald Wallace led Charlotte with 25 points, but the Bobcats failed to set a franchise record with their seventh straight win. They settled for tying the mark of six in a row.

The Hawks made 15 of 20 in the first quarter. Joe Johnson led the way with 11 points, while Charlotte had a hard time just holding on to the ball; the Bobcats turned it over seven times, leading to 12 Atlanta points.

As if the first quarter wasn't bad enough for the Bobcats, point guard Raymond Felton had to be helped off the court after spraining his right ankle in the final minute of the period.