THE FACTS: Greivis Vasquez may or may not win the NBA's Most Improved Player award, but he left little doubt Friday that he'll be in the conversation after his first career triple-double pushed the Hornets to a 111-100 win over the host Hawks.
Vasquez, a third-year player from Maryland, had 21 points,12 assists and a career-high tying 11 rebounds as the Hornets used a big third quarter to win their second straight game. Eric Gordon scored 27 in the Hornets' second straight win.
New Orleans (17-33) turned the ball over nine times in the first half, when the Hawks (27-22) made nine 3-pointers to take a 55-50 lead.
The Hornets put together a 20-4 run in the middle of the third period to wrestle away the game. Vasquez had six points, five asissts and four rebounds in the decisive third quarter.
He is averaging 14.0 points, 9.4 assists, and 4.5 rebounds while starting every game for New Orleans -- well up from his career bests of 8.9, 5.4 and 2.6 last season.
Jeff Teague and Josh Smith scored 21 points each for Atlanta, and Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver set a franchise record for 3-pointers made in consecutive games.
He was 3-for-6 from distance while scoring 17 points, and has made at least one trey in 43 straight games. Mookie Blaylock made at least one in 42 games in 1996-97.
Atlanta, however, was trounced on the boards. New Orleans had a 44-33 rebounding edge, and the Hawks had just five offensive rebounds as the Hornets built a 22-13 edge in second-chance points.
QUOTABLE: "I wanted to get a triple-double tonight, and win . . . I'm not satisfied. I want more, and I want to help the team win. When we play tough, and play with the mindset that we have to fight and bump people, we're a better team."
-- Greivis Vasquez
THE STAT: 0 -- This was the Hornets' turnover total in the third quarter. They turned it over nine times in the first half, leading to 16 Atlanta points.
TURNING POINT: Vasquez assisted on a short shot by Robin Lopez with 8:36 left in the third quarter to start the Hornets' 20-4 run. When Vasquez assisted Roger Mason's layup for a 77-68 New Orleans lead with 2:01 left in the period, the 20-4 sprint was complete. In it, Vasquez had three points, five assists and three rebounds, and the Hornets outrebounded the Hawks 13-4.
QUOTABLE II: "We came out with very low energy. It's been a trend of ours to come out not very strong in the third. That hurt us today."
-- Hawks center Al Horford
HOT: The Hornets shot 22-for-41 in the first half (53.7 percent), but Atlanta took a 55-50 lead on 51.3 percent shooting (20-for-39) and more importantly Atlanta was 9-for-16 from 3-point territory in the first two quarters. . . . After shooting 4-for-7 on 3-pointers off the bench, New Orleans' Ryan Anderson over the past six games is shooting 44.7 percent from distance (17-for-38). . . . Josh Smith had a season high-tying eight assists. . . . Korver has made at least two 3-pointers in 11 consecutive games.
NOT: Teague had six turnovers. . . . Playing in his hometown, New Orleans forward Al-Farouq Aminu started and missed his only shot. He had eight rebounds, however.
QUOTABLE III: "We have to develop a killer instinct. I've said that all year long."
-- Hawks coach Larry Drew
ROOKIE WATCH: Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick, was fairly steady on the way to scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds in 25:41 for the Hornets. He had a shot blocked, and added a block of his own to go with three assists. . . . Guard John Jenkins led all Atlanta subs with eight points, and was 2-for-3 from distance. He added two rebounds and a blocked shot.
NOTABLE: Vasquez has led New Orleans in assists in 48 of 50 games. He had shot just 2-for-11 on 3-pointers in five games prior to Friday, when he shot 3-for-5. . . . Atlanta's DeShawn Stevenson missed his second straight game with soreness in his right knee. . . . Lopez had one of his better all-around games with 17 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals. He shot 8-for-12.
UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Sunday @ Toronto, Monday @ Detroit, Wednesday vs. Portland. For the Hawks, Monday @ Dallas, Wednesday @ Orlando, Feb. 20 vs. Miami.