Archives For Game Recap

The Hawks dispatched the Philadelphia 76ers 91-85 for their 19th win in a row Saturday night at Philips Arena. Atlanta built a 21-point lead late in the second quarter, but the Sixers pushed back in the third quarter, cutting the lead to just five points entering the fourth. The fourth quarter got tense as Philadelphia took a lead late in the game before the Hawks turned it on and finished the game on a 10-2 run.

DeMarre Carroll was out for the second straight game, but the news of the day came pregame, when Coach Budenholzer and the Atlanta training staff confirmed that Thabo Sefolosha will be out 6-8 weeks with an injury to his calf, suffered early in Friday’s win over the Trail Blazers. Kent Bazemore played 40 minutes against the Trail Blazers on Friday after Sefolosha went down and got the start against the Sixers, marking his first start of the season. Bazemore had a poor game offensively, shooting just 1-for-6, culminating in two badly missed free throws with 4:07 left in the game, when the Hawks were up 81-79.

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This looked like it would be the night.

First, Portland’s Damian Lillard was left off of a stacked Western Conference All-Star team. Later, it was announced that DeMarre Carroll would not play due to an Achilles strain. Finally — when the game started — Carroll’s replacement, Thabo Sefolosha, came up limping after a blown layup and was later diagnosed with a calf strain. He did not return.

it seemed as if Portland was not going to miss early after they started 7-for-8 from 3-point range. After Atlanta had put together a mini-rally to close the first half, Portland responded with Steve Blake banking in a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer. That bank seemed like it would be it; this was going to finally be the end of the Hawks’ win streak.

But when the dust settled after 48 minutes, the Hawks ended the day with a 105-99 win and the best record in the NBA.

Paul Millsap scored 21 points and Al Horford pitched in with 17 as the Hawks were able to overcome 37 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. The win represented the Hawks 18th win in a row, a streak that is tied for the ninth best in NBA history.

“We’re a resilient group,” said Horford on the adversity the Hawks faced in the game. “We just kept fighting, got stops when we needed to and really got into a good rhythm offensively.”

One of the main guys who kept fighting was Kent Bazemore, who played a career-high 40 minutes in the wake of the injuries to Carroll and Sefolosha. Bazemore recored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Continue Reading…

Paul Millsap led the way for the Hawks with 28 points and 15 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks won their 17th game in a row over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The Hawks’ 38th win of the season matches their regular season total from 2013-14. Millsap got his 28 points on just nine shots, going 15-for-16 from the free throw line; Millsap’s 15 made free throws matched the Nets’ team total for the game. Six Hawks scored in double digits, including a 5-for-8, 13-point performance off the bench from Dennis Schröder.

The first quarter was less than ideal for the Hawks defensively, as the Nets put up 27 points in the first twelve minutes. After the game, Coach Budenholzer said, “We need to play better defensively than we did tonight, but that’s what practice will be for tomorrow.” The Hawks were able to match the Nets shot for shot in the first quarter, closing with three 3-pointers in the last minute and a half to take a 30-27 lead going into the second quarter. Continue Reading…

Despite a spirited effort from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Hawks walked off the court of Philips Arena with their 16th straight win by a score of 112-100.

The Hawks shot 61% in the first quarter, but Minnesota slowed the game down from the start and was creating good shots on offense. Despite the Atlanta’s shooting and only three turnovers, the Hawks led just 25-24 at the end of the first quarter.

“They executed,” said Mike Budenholzer on his opponents. “They were very good tonight… They are cutting off the ball and slashing and getting to the basket, and guys are finding them.”

The Hawks’ defense started to clamp down in the second quarter, however, as the Hawks used their activity and quickness to continuously deny the Timberwolves’ chances at getting open looks. The offense in the period was a group effort led by the frontcourt, where seven of the Hawks’ nine assists in the quarter came from a member of the frontcourt.

The 36-23 advantage that the Hawks had in the second quarter essentially sustained them for the rest of the game. The Wolves, led by Thaddeus Young and Mo Williams, were working the Hawks well enough to keep Minnesota hanging around for most of the second half. Young had 20 of his 26 points in the second half and finished the game with a filled box scored that included six rebounds, seven assists, and a steal. Continue Reading…

The Hawks looked to win their 14th game in a row Wednesday night as the Pacers came to town. Indiana has put Atlanta out of the playoffs each of the last two years, but this Pacers team is a much different animal without Paul George and Lance Stephenson patrolling the perimeter on defense. Atlanta took full advantage from the tip to the final whistle, quickly opening up an eight-point lead early in the first quarter and not relenting until it was time for John Jenkins and Mike Muscala to make their way into the game late in the fourth.

DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague led the way for Atlanta with 17 points apiece and six of the Hawks were in double figures, including an impressive 4-for-7 shooting performance from Pero Antic. The Hawks took an 11-point lead into the half, but came out on fire in the third quarter, scoring 36 points and ending all hope the Pacers had to stop Atlanta’s win streak. Carroll and Teague combined for 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting in the period, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, as the Hawks’ lead ballooned to 27.

For the game, Atlanta shot 50% from the field and 44.8% from 3, but it was the passing that caught Coach Budenholzer’s eye after the game; the Hawks had 30 assists on 39 made baskets. Atlanta has had six games with 30 or more assists in the last ten days, two more than the rest of the NBA combined over that stretch. As the Hawks get more and more acclimated to one another, the passing has become the trademark of their fantastic start to the season. Continue Reading…

Mike Scott scored on consecutive dives to the basket to put the Hawks ahead 78-72 with 7:50 to play in the fourth quarter after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 3-pointer drew the Pistons within two. Scott’s baskets ignited a 17-6 run capped by Jeff Teague’s 3-point play with 2:28 remaining as Atlanta defeated Detroit 93-82 to run its win streak to 13 games.

Scott opened the fourth with a jumper and a layup as he scored eight consecutive points for Atlanta and eight of the team’s 10 points to open the quarter. Paul Millsap followed Scott’s offensive outburst with a pair of layups and a 17-footer to equal him with a game-high 20 points, adding seven rebounds and two assists. Scott also contributed five rebounds and two steals.

Al Horford added 14 points, six rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block and was a game-best plus-19. Horford was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 21.6 points, eight rebounds and 6.3 assists last week. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, the Hawks’ winning streak is up to 12 games in a row, the Wizards have reclaimed the second spot in the East, and Charlotte is still surging. Meanwhile, the state of Florida is just confusing with the Heat bouncing back on a west coast road trip and apparently the Magic are still alive.

Atlanta Hawks, 33-8, 1st in the East, 5-0 this week ATL

Make it 12 straight for the Hawks. Are they currently the best team in the NBA? It’s definitely up for debate with how their defense has shaped up, and the way they beat all the top teams in the East this week. What’s been most impressive about their strong week is not only are the Hawks winning against other conference contenders, but they do so in such a convincing fashion. Atlanta throttled the Wizards by 31 points to start off the week, throttled the Raptors by 23 points, and then beat the Bulls by eight — in Chicago — on a back to back. The Hawks are scary good.

Washington Wizards, 28-13, 2nd in the East, 3-2 this week WAS

The Wizards had a solid week, but two bad losses kept it from being perfect. They had a bad loss at home to Brooklyn, but made up for it with the victory in Brooklyn on a back-to-back. Washington’s bigger problem right now is the Wizards are a tier below the Hawks right now, and there’s nothing to say they have the talent to join them at this moment. Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks have now won 12 straight and as usual they look unstoppable. On Saturday, the Hawks were in control from start to finish, and even though the Bulls were always within striking distance, the game never felt particularly close. Chicago was constantly down nine points, and struggled throughout the game to close that gap.

It was the usual Atlanta offensive strategy involving ball movement, screens, and a barrage of 3-pointers that the Hawks have mastered and tailored into their own style. They’ve s have become so famous for their offense, by this point of the season, that it’s assumed everybody knows about it by now. Well apparently the Bulls missed the memo, because their defensive collapses were very concerning for a team that prides itself on that side of the ball. Chicago just couldn’t keep up with the constant ball movement, and it showed with how often they were slow on rotations. There were multiple times tonight the Hawks found wide open players on the perimeter or in the corner, and frankly is that is inexcusable for a Tom Thibodeau defense.

The worst (best?) of it all was how the Bulls allowed Kyle Korver open look after open look. This is the best shooter in the NBA, currently shooting 52 percent from 3-point range, and he’s getting open looks? It doesn’t matter if the scheme doesn’t fit, after Korver has made his fourth 3-pointer there should be a man on him at all times, but the Bulls never adjusted allowing Atlanta to punish them to the tune of seven triples for Korver. Continue Reading…

The only team at the top of the East that the Hawks were yet to beat were the Toronto Raptors. That finally changed on Friday night.

Al Horford scored a team-best 22 points, scoring on all eight of his field goal attempts, to lead the Hawks past Toronto by a score of 110-89. Paul Millsap also had a big night stuffing the box score, putting up 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks in just 33 minutes. The win extended the Hawks’ overall winning streak to 11 and the team’s winning streak on the road to 11, the latter of which continues to be a franchise best run.

Unlike the first two games on this roadtrip, the Hawks got out to a good start and were able to establish an advantage in the first quarter. After taking a 22-14 lead, the Hawks got a little turnover happy, resulting in a small Raptors run that led to a 24-19 Atlanta lead at the end of the first.

The second quarter is where the Hawks started to show signs that they would pull away with this game. They started off with seven straight points, including a 3 from Thabo Sefolosha, to open up a 12-point lead on Toronto. The Raptors were able to again fight back and make it just a five-point game, but the Hawks closed the half with their super active defense, forcing three turnovers in the final three minutes and hitting five shots from the field in that time to finish the second quarter with a 52-38 lead. Continue Reading…

The Hawks were in Boston for the second half of a back-to-back and the second game in a four games in five nights road trip, and it showed early in this game. Coach Budenholzer once again shuffled the starting lineup and gave some rest to Al Horford and 33-year-old Kyle Korver against a struggling Celtics team, inserting Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap back into the team after their game off in Philadelphia last night. Boston used their youthful energy to grab four offensive rebounds in the first half and the game was tied at 34 midway through the second quarter before the Hawks turned up the defense and pulled away from the turnover-happy Celtics. Millsap and company were perfectly happy to take those turnovers the other way and ended up with 13 steals and 19 fast-break points.

When the Hawks were forced to slow it down in their half-court offense, it wasn’t much harder for them. Without Kyle Korver for the first time all season, there was some worry pregame whether or not the Hawks could execute their offense without his gravity, especially against a scrappy Boston Celtics team featuring some of the better young defensive guards in the league in Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart.

Those fears subsided quickly as the ball continued to whip around the court with the same ferocity it does every night; Atlanta had 23 assists on 36 made field goals, led by Teague’s six. Overall, Atlanta shot 49% from the field, made 10 3s, and thoroughly dominated the Celtics from the second quarter until the end of the game, never letting the Celtics within nine points after halftime. Continue Reading…