ATLANTA — Kyle Korver scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks held off the pesky Brooklyn Nets 99-92 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series Sunday night.

The Hawks led nearly the entire game and pushed the margin as high as 16 points, but the Nets kept coming back.

Finally, Jeff Teague dropped in a floater coming off the left wing, giving Atlanta a 95-89 lead. Joe Johnson missed a 3-pointer from the corner for Brooklyn, and Teague made a pair of free throws with just under a minute remaining to essentially seal it.

Teague and DeMarre Carroll scored 17 points apiece.

Eighth-seeded Brooklyn finished 22 games behind the Hawks and slipped into the playoffs on the final day. But, with Johnson and Brook Lopez each scoring 17 points, they didn’t look overmatched by a team that won the season series 4-0 and earned a No. 1 seed for the first time since 1994.

Atlanta didn’t have much to play for over the final month of the season, seizing control in the East with a 19-game streak that included a perfect January.

Looking well rested, the Hawks started with the quick pace they wanted against the Nets, who would’ve preferred more of a half-court game. Atlanta pushed out to a double-digit lead before the game was 7 minutes old and looked on the verge of turning it into a blowout before settling for a 55-45 edge at the half.

The Nets did use their size to good advantage, outrebounding the Hawks 24-16 over the first two quarters to keep it from getting out of hand.

In a striking contrast to the opening quarter, Atlanta began sluggishly coming out of the halftime break. Brooklyn began with a 9-2 run that cut it to 57-54, prompting Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer to angrily call a timeout.

Atlanta quickly regained control. Paul Millsap scored on a strong move to the basket, before Carroll and Korver went deep for 3-pointers that pushed the lead back to 65-54.

But each time the Hawks looked ready to cruise, the Nets bounced back. Even though they fell behind in the best-of-seven series, this was an encouraging start for a highly paid but underachieving team.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Atlanta before the series shifts to Brooklyn.

GRIZZLIES 100, TRAIL BLAZERS 86: Reserve Beno Udrih scored 20 points and host Memphis never trailed in routing Portland in Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series.

Zach Randolph had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Marc Gasol added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 32 points.

The Grizzlies swept Portland during the regular season and have won 10 of the last 11, including the first playoff game between the teams. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Memphis.


RAPTORS: General Manager Masai Ujiri was fined $35,000 and the team docked $25,000 by the NBA for using an expletive Saturday while talking about Washington forward Paul Pierce when addressing fans before the Raptors’ playoff opener, a 93-86 overtime loss.

PELICANS: Point guard Tyreke Evans says an MRI on his left knee showed a deep bone bruise and he is questionable for Game 2 Monday against the Golden State Warriors, who won the opener, 106-99.