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Hardaway Jr. continues strong play with impressive week

Tim Hardaway Jr. had some week.

It’s becoming a trend.

The Hawks shooting guard played a key role in the Hawks’ three-win week with victories over the Celtics and the Cavaliers twice. Hardaway averaged 22.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists in the wins. He had a .565 field-goal percentage and a .438 3-point percentage. He scored more than 20 points and had at least four assists in each game.

Hardaway was nominated by the Hawks for the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. The Pacers’ Paul George won the award announced Monday. The Thunders’ Russell Westbrook won in the Western Conference.

For the week in the East, Hardaway ranked tied for sixth in field goals made, 10th in points per game, 11th in total points, 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio, tied for 15th in 3-pointers made and tied for 17th in field-goal percentage.

There is more.

Hardaway had a 9.3 points average while making 11 of 12 field-goal attempts, made 3 of 4 3-pointers and was a combined plus-33 in his 25 fourth-quarter minutes last week. The fourth-quarter field-goal percentage ranked first and the points per game ranked third in the NBA for the week. The field goals made ranked second and the 3-pointers game ranked tied for fourth in the East.

Hardaway had 21 points, a career-high nine rebounds and four assists in the Hawks’ 126-125 overtime win over the Cavaliers on Sunday. In the two games against the Cavaliers, he did not commit a turnover in 63 minutes of playing time.

“It’s the mentality,” Hardaway said Sunday of his success against the Cavaliers. “You are going up against the best. You want to take that challenge to heart.”

Hardaway has started the past 11 games for the Hawks at shooting guard and has remaining in the lineup even after Kent Bazemore returned from a knee injury.

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