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Iguodala’s buzzer beater sinks Hawks

ATLANTA - With Stephen Curry double-teamed on the final possession of the game, Andre Iguodala made the Atlanta Hawks pay for leaving him open.

Iguodala drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer, completing a 15-point comeback and leading the Golden State Warriors to their eighth consecutive victory, 101-100 Friday at Philips Arena.

After Curry banked in a difficult runner to cut the Hawks’ lead to 100-98, Paul Milsap missed a jumper that could’ve made it a four-point game. That left Golden State just over three seconds to attempt the game-winner. Iguodala inbounded to Curry, who was quickly double-teamed and returned the pass, allowing Iguodala to knock down the long ball as the buzzer sounded.

“We wanted to stay connected with everybody,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said of the final play. “We thought they would go to one of their shooters (and) we defended the initial action, the initial play, pretty well. Steph Curry just demands a lot of attention. We got the ball out of his hands and they made a tough shot. It’s a credit to Iguodola and a credit to Curry to make the pass. Two good players made a good play.”

Atlanta led by as much as 91-76 with seven minutes left on a 3-pointer by Pero Antic.

Led by Curry, who had 14 of his 22 points in the fourth, the Warriors stormed back. While holding the Hawks without a field goal for five and a half minutes, Curry had four points during a quick, 8-0 run that cut the deficit to 91-84. Though Milsap and Shelvin Mack each hit a pair of free throws for Atlanta, Harrison Barnes scored seven points, including a dunk and a 3-pointer, during an 20-4 run that put the Warriors up 96-95 with 2:12 to play.

Milsap hit two free throws, then knocked down a short jumper that helped the Hawks maintain a 99-96 advantage.

It was 100-98 after Curry had a nice running jumper with thirty seconds left.

“First, you have to give them credit. I think they hit some tough shots,” said Budenholzer, whose team played late Saturday at Chicago. “I think giving up 37 points in the fourth quarter, our execution, that’s where we need to improve. And finishing a defensive effort in the fourth quarter when we need to get stops. It’s a tough loss.”

Atlanta built its cushion by getting some distance over the final six minutes of the third and in the early stages of the fourth.

With just over three minutes left in the third and the 24-second shot clock down to 2, Lou Williams drained a 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 68-61 lead. The Warriors cut the deficit to four, then Mack made a nice contribution for the Hawks down the stretch of the quarter. The reserve guard had two nice drives to the basket for lay ups and added an assist on a three from Williams that allowed Atlanta to head to the final period up 72-64.

Mack, who was excellent off the bench (15 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four assists), hit a jumper and DeMarre Carroll added two baskets to push the lead out to 82-69 at the 8:25 mark. Later, Antic, a rookie making his first career start, had the last of a game-high 16 points on his fourth 3-pointer that allowed the hosts to build a 91-76 lead at the seven-minute mark.

That’s when Curry got the Warriors going.

He had just eight points on 2-of-6 shooting through three quarters, but was 5-of-9 from the field and handed out five assists in the fourth, including the final one to Iguodala.

“That’s a very, very good team,” Budenholzer said of the 22-13 Warriors, who play today at Washington.

Klay Thompson was hot early, hitting three early threes to help Golden State build a first quarter lead.

Meanwhile, Atlanta went nearly five minutes without a field goal and a three by Thompson and a follow-up dunk from Barnes gave the Warriors a 20-13 lead with three and a half minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

Mike Scott had six points, including a 3-pointer, which helped the Hawks score 13 of the next 15 points and grab a 31-26 cushion.

Curry went 16 minutes without a point, but got his second three-point play of the first half to cap a 14-5 spurt that put the Warriors back up 40-36 with 3:23 to play in the second.

Curry was guarded well by Carroll, among others, and finished with just two made field goals in the opening half.

There wasn’t much separation between the teams over the final three minutes of the opening half. Antic hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Andrew Bogut had an alley-opp dunk and a put back for Golden State, as things were even at 46-46 at halftime.

Jeff Teague had 14 points and seven assists, while Carroll, Millsap and reserve Scott added 12 points for Atlanta. David Lee had a game-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting and Thompson added 21 points for Golden State, which won for the third consecutive time in Atlanta.