Posted November 10, 2013 on AP on Fox
The Charlotte Bobcats have lost every meeting with the Atlanta Hawks over the last two seasons, with many of those defeats coming in blowout fashion. They hope the potential return of their coach and prized offseason acquisition can help reverse that fortune Monday night at home against Atlanta. Charlotte (3-3) comes off a 101-91 loss to New York on Friday night without coach Steve Clifford. He successfully had two stents placed in his heart earlier in the day after checking into the hospital Thursday with chest pain. Clifford was released from the hospital Sunday and was back with the team at practice, putting him in position to be back on the sidelines Monday. Assistant Patrick Ewing made his head coaching debut in his absence against the Knicks - for whom he played 15 of his 17 NBA seasons - but the Bobcats couldn't beat them for the second time in four days. "Our energy level from the get go wasn't so great," said Kemba Walker, who scored 25 in both games versus New York. "I thought (Ewing) did great. It was us, the players. We are the ones on the court out there playing. We just have to pick up the intensity." The Bobcats have dropped eight straight against the Hawks dating to a 96-85 home victory April 13, 2011. Atlanta's average margin of victory during that stretch is 16.3. Having Al Jefferson available could help Charlotte halt that skid. In his first season with the Bobcats after signing a three-year deal, Jefferson has been sidelined by a sprained ankle, not playing since he tallied 13 points and eight rebounds in the season opener. He returned to practice Sunday and could play Monday. Jefferson is averaging 25.7 points and 12.7 rebounds in his last three meetings with Atlanta. The Hawks (3-3) are 1-3 away from home, though the last two losses came by two points each. They held on for a 104-94 home win over Orlando on Saturday despite blowing a 17-point lead in the third quarter. "We're still learning every day," said Jeff Teague, who had 19 points and 13 assists. "I was glad to see us bounce back, get the lead back up and make plays at the end. Hard work is paying off." Teague's career-high 9.8 assists per game are leading the way for the Hawks, who are averaging a league-best 28.3 as a team. The fifth-year guard has recorded at least 10 assists in each Atlanta victory. "I think he's really starting to understand what we're saying," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "I think for the last week to 10 days that he's had a lot of opportunities and a lot of responsibility for the way we play. He's doing a lot of good things. I think he's going to get better and better." Atlanta's Kyle Korver has hit a 3-pointer in 79 straight games, tying Michael Adams for the second-longest streak in league history. Dana Barros made at least one in 89 consecutive contests from Dec. 23, 1994-Jan. 12, 1996. Korver is 31 for 55 (56.4 percent) from long distance in his last 12 games versus Charlotte.

Bobcats’ Al Jefferson Returns to Practice, Will Start

Charlotte Bobcats’ center Al Jefferson returned to practice on Monday after sitting out the last five games due to his injured right ankle. Due to his performance during practice, Jefferson will be starting against the Hawks tonight according to DeAntae Price of Sporting News. “Al’s going to start tonight,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. “I don’t know how many minutes...

Teague, Millsap pace Hawks past Magic 104-94

ATLANTA -- Jeff Teague had 19 points and 13 assists, Paul Millsap scored 18 points with 11 rebounds and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Orlando Magic 104-94 on Saturday night. Arron Afflalo finished with 21 points for Orlando, which has dropped 15 straight on the road dating to last March 4. Mike Scott had 17 points in a reserve role and Al Horford scored 15 and Kyle Korver added 14 for...

Al Jefferson Hopeful To Play Monday

Al Jefferson is hopeful to return to the Charlotte Bobcats for Monday's game against the Atlanta Hawks. Jefferson has only played in the season opener, scoring 13 points and eight rebounds, but has missed six games since due to an ankle injury that he suffered in preseason. “Now it’s all up to coach,” Jefferson said on whether he’ll play. “I think I proved I can go...

Horford scores 24 as Hawks beat Bobcats 103-94

Al Horford scored 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks defeated Charlotte 103-94 to hand Bobcats coach Steve Clifford a loss in his first game back since undergoing a heart procedure. Clifford missed Charlotte's game last Friday night against the New York Knicks after having two stents placed in his heart. The Hawks trailed by eight at halftime but outscored the Bobcats 34-16 in...

Blogcat’s Take, 11/10

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Jefferson returns but Bobcats fall to Hawks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Al Jefferson was back -- as was head coach Steve Clifford -- but neither was enough to offset a miserable third quarter that allowed the Atlanta Hawks (4-3) to pull above .500 with a 103-94 win. Here are four observations from the Bobcats' home loss: 1. Flashes shown in Jefferson's return from a nagging ankle injury The Bobcats had finally cut the deficit...

Bobcats’ Al Jefferson out Friday in loss to the Knicks

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Hawks cruise to 11th consecutive over the Magic, 104-94

Next on the Hawks’ to-do list — protect a big lead. The Hawks lost a 17-point third-quarter advantage, but rallied for a 104-94 victory over the Magic on Saturday night at Philips Arena. The victory was the Hawks’ 11th consecutive over the Magic, including seven at home. The Hawks have scored more than 102 points in all six games this season. The Hawks (3-3) nearly lost...

Bobcats coach Clifford returns

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford returned to the court Monday night, three days after having two stents placed in his heart. Clifford was given a warm welcome by the home crowd during pregame introductions against the Atlanta Hawks. He said he felt "fine" before the game and is taking every necessary precaution to ensure he's safe. "I'm doing exactly what (the...

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford rejoins team, will coach Monday

Three days after admitting himself to the hospital and ending up needing a couple stents in his arteries, Steve Clifford is back coaching the Bobcats and will be on the bench Monday. Clifford sounded like a guy just happy things were not a lot worse, speaking with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “I was lucky. It was a warning sign and I’ve since been educated that a...

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As Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford was checking himself into a local hospital Thursday night, worried about sudden chest pains, Denver Broncos coach John Fox was about to be released from another Charlotte hospital. Charlotte had become the unfortunate epicenter of a recent trend: Head coaches in their 50s in major American pro sports who are experiencing a health crisis...

Horrendous 3rd Quarter for the Bobcats Seals their Fate

  A horrendous third quarter, in which the Bobcats were outscored 34-16, spoiled Al Jefferson and Coach Steve Clifford’s return to game-action, as the Hawks downed the Cats 103-94 in Charlotte.   Monday’s game proved yet again that winning in the NBA requires four consistent quarters in terms of effort and execution.     The third quarter was...

Morning Shootaround: Back at it

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