The Charlotte Hornets have their first two-game postseason winning streak since 1993. The Atlanta Hawks have big problems.
Despite Glen Rice sitting on the bench with his fifth foul, Anthony Mason and David Wesley powered a late 13-3 run that sent the Hornets to a 92-85 victory Saturday night and a 2-0 lead over Atlanta in their best-of-5 playoff series.Mason had nine points and Wesley four in the surge, which put the Hornets up by 10 with 2:37 left.
Mason finished with 25 points to help give Charlotte an imposing edge as the series shifts to Atlanta for the third game Tuesday night. Just five teams in NBA history have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win a best-of-5 series. The last was the Denver Nuggets in 1994.
Rice finished with 24 points and a season-high 13 rebounds and Wesley added 18 points and six assists for the Hornets in a physical game peppered with 52 personal fouls. By the time it ended, Atlanta's Christian Laettner had fouled out and nine other players had at least three personals.
The last time the Hornets won two consecutive playoff games was in the franchise's first postseason appearance during the first round against the Boston Celtics in 1993.
The Hawks continued to struggle after having four double-digit victories over Charlotte in as many regular-season games.
Dikembe Mutombo and Laett-ner spent much of the game in foul trouble, and Steve Smith, who had 35 points in the opener, had 22 on Saturday night. But just nine of those came in the second half.
Alan Henderson added 22 points and Mookie Blaylock had 13 assists for the Hawks, who were held to 42-percent shooting and went more than three minutes without a field goal during the decisive run.
There were three lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter before Mason hit a 9-footer in the lane to give Charlotte a 75-73 edge with 5:46 left. The Hornets stripped the ball from Alan Henderson on the other end, setting up a fast-break layup by Wesley that gave Charlotte its biggest lead to that stage.