ATLANTA (AP) – The NBA’s longest losing streak and second-longest winning streak came to unlikely ends Saturday night when the Atlanta Hawks beat San Antonio 94-84 to deny the Spurs their best 20-game start in franchise history.

The Hawks snapped their seven-game losing streak, winning for only the third time this season and the first time since Nov. 25.

The Spurs saw their six-game winning streak end.

The defending NBA champion Spurs (16-4) were denied their first 17-3 start. They also were 16-4 after 20 games last season.

The Spurs have the most wins in the NBA, and the Hawks (3-16) had the league’s worst record and have heard increased local speculation about the future of coach Mike Woodson. But the Hawks enjoyed a rare highlight, taking the lead in the fourth quarter and then pulling away late.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 22 points, and Zaza Pachulia added 19 points and 14 rebounds. Tony Parker led San Antonio with 20 points, Manu Ginobili added 17 and Bruce Bowen had 13.

The Hawks trailed 71-69 after three quarters but raced to an eight-point lead in the final period, the last time at 86-78 on a fast-break basket by Josh Childress.

After the Spurs pulled to 86-81, a jumper by Childress pushed the lead back to seven at 88-81. Following two free throws by Parker, Al Harrington’s drive gave Atlanta a 90-83 lead with 55 seconds left.

Tyronn Lue, who had 16 points in a backup role, made three free throws in the final 40 seconds to stretch the lead.

The Hawks hoped to catch the Spurs, playing the second night of back-to-back games, with tired legs. Two of the Spurs’ three losses have come in those second-night situations.

The Spurs appeared set to put the game away early, They led 23-15 after one quarter and stretched the lead to 14 points at 39-25 midway through the second period.

Johnson was 7-of-7 from the field in the second period, and his 14 points helped the Hawks finish the half strong as the Spurs settled for a 48-42 lead at the half.

The Hawks carried the momentum into the third period, finally taking a 57-56 lead on a fast-break basket by Harrington. The Hawks’ last lead of the period was 63-62, but Bowen answered with a 3-pointer and the Spurs – who are 15-0 when leading after three quarters – led 71-69 at the end of the period.

Notes: Hawks guard Royal Ivey started in his third straight game. … The Hawks have won three of their last four home games against the Spurs.

AP-ES-12-10-05 2142EST

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