Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha (25) drives between Charlotte Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) and guard Kemba Walker (15) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

With chance at division lead, Hawks fall to Hornets

The Hawks had a chance to take the Southeast Division lead.

Instead they fell back below .500.

Former Hawk Marvin Williams hit a 3-pointer with 27.8 seconds left to give Charlotte a 107-99 victory over Atlanta Saturday night. The Hornets retained their division lead over the Hawks.

The Hawks (13-14) trailed by as many as 16 points before taking a pair of fourth-quarter leads. Each time the Hornets (15-13) answered to snap a four-game losing streak.

For the Hawks, Dwight Howard had his 18th double-double of the season with 10 points and 23 rebounds. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from Tim Hardaway Jr. (21), Paul Millsap (20), Kent Bazemore (17) and Dennis Schroder (12).

Marco Bellinelli had 19 points, including three fourth-quarter 3-pointers for the Hornets. Williams also had 19 points and Kemba Walker added 18 points and 10 assists.

Williams’ 3-pointers gave the Hornets a 102-97 lead and they iced the game from the free-throw line.

The Hornets took a 53-42 advantage into intermission after a strong second quarter. The Hornets outscored the Hawks 31-20 in the second quarter as they shot 58 percent (14 of 24) from the field.

The Hawks trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter but used a 13-1 run to get as close as four points, 63-59. The Hornets got some separation and took an 80-74 lead into the final quarter.

The Hawks began the fourth quarter with a 13-6 run and took the lead, 87-86, on a pair of Hardaway free throws with 7:41 remaining. The advantage would be short-lived as Belinelli hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Hornets back in front.

Millsap got the lead back, 95-94, with a basket with 3:51 remaining. Only to have the Hornets score five straight points, including a Belinelli 3-pointer.

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