Archives For Game Recap

With how good the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs often are, it is hard for road teams from the East to come into Texas and expect any success. The Hawks are not an exception to that, but Atlanta grinded out a rare victory in the Lone Star state, beating the Rockets 104-97. The Hawks now sit at 19-7 and have now won 14 of their last 16 games.

Atlanta managed to pull it out in the end thanks to some nice passing and solid execution. It also helped that Jason Terry completely forgot to cover Kyle Korver during one of the game’s most crucial moments.

While the game started off close, it wasn’t like that until midway through the third quarter. The Hawks had a decently-sized lead through most of the first half thanks to crisp ball movement getting them a lot of open looks. For the majority of the game, the best the Rockets could do was go on a small run occasionally, but the Hawks would withstand it and get right back to business and build up their lead once more. That was until the Rockets adjusted.

During halftime, the Rockets made some tweaks that managed to get them back into the game, tying the game up by the end of the quarter. Part of it was the Hawks just not hitting shots, but the Rockets rotations were much more organized in the second half; when the Hawks started to move the ball, the Rockets were right there to contest the shot. Continue Reading…

Shelvin Mack had sat out the past two games because of the Hawks’ superb depth at point guard with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder. With Teague on the sidelines due to a hamstring strain, Mack had an opportunity to make an impact on Wednesday night against LeBron and the Cavaliers.

And boy did he do just that.

Mack scored a career-high 24 points off the bench, including 17 points and a 5-for-5 performance from 3 in the second quarter that swung the game in the Hawks’ favor. After trailing by 12 in the second, the Hawks rallied to take a 65-60 lead into halftime. Mack’s play translated to the rest of the Hawks in the second half, as Atlanta outscored Cleveland 62-38 in the final 24 minutes to give the Hawks a 127-98 victory.

The Hawks took control in the third quarter by continuously running plays targeting Kevin Love on defense. Paul Millsap and Al Horford accounted for seven straight Atlanta field goals in a span where the Hawks expanded their lead to double-digits. Horford finished with 20 points and four assists, while Millsap tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Continue Reading…

Hawks Outlast Bulls for 17th Win

Bo Churney —  December 15, 2014 — 1 Comment

After having their nine-game win streak broken in Orlando, the Hawks were able to rebound (figuratively, not literally; the were outrebounded 57-40) against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls with a scrappy 93-86 win.

The Hawks were led by Al Horford, who had one of his best all-around games of the season. Horford tallied 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. It was Horford’s second 20-point/10-rebound game of the season. The six assists were a season-high for Horford, who appeared to take extra effort in trying to control the offense in the fourth quarter in order to try and keep Chicago’s defense on its heels.

“We talked about wanting to have great pace coming out tonight,” said Coach Budenholzer. “The first quarter, scoring 28 points against a really good defensive team… we got some baskets in transition. The one Al got sticks out. Paul’s sticks out to me. It probably ended up being the little bit of cushion that we needed, that allowed us to get the win.”

The Hawks received two solid performances off of the bench tonight, one being from Elton Brand. Brand only played 13 minutes, but he made his presence known, scoring eight points and loudly stuffing a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Brand followed up that block with a jumper less than a minute later, which gave the Hawks a nine-point lead early in the game. Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks were out-hustled, out-executed and out-coached over the final seven minutes as a Tobias Harris buzzer-beater sealed a 100-99 win for the host Orlando Magic. The loss brought the Hawks’ nine-game win streak to a humbling conclusion. Jeff Teague had a careless turnover, failed to convert multiple isolations resulting from broken plays and was a disaster on defense in the closing minutes.

Teague and Paul Millsap replaced Dennis Schröder and Mike Scott with the Hawks up 83-80 with seven minutes remaining. Kyle Korver followed up a pair of Harris free throws with an elbow jumper. Kent Bazemore, who had a season-high 10 points, missed a heat-check 3-pointer after an offensive rebound. Teague then drove the lane and threw the ball into the stands. He looked better on the next trip with a lob pass to Al Horford, whose layup put the Hawks ahead 87-82.

Harris responded with a tough pull-up in the lane over DeMarre Carroll. Teague missed a step-back three on a broken possession. Korver replaced Bazemore with four minutes to play. Teague got a blow-by layup and the Hawks led 89-84 with 3:47 on the clock. Nikola Vučević then hit a baseline turn-around before Harris fouled Korver on a 3-point attempt. Korver’s free throws put the Hawks up 92-86 with 2:57 remaining. Continue Reading…

The Hawks won their ninth game in a row on Friday at Philips Arena, prevailing 87-81 over the Orlando Magic. The Hawks shot just 37.2% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc on 29 attempts, and the Magic weren’t much better, shooting 39% from the field and 34.6% from three. Coach Budenholzer mentioned in his postgame press conference that he would have liked to see the Hawks drive to the basket more often; the Hawks finished with just 24 points in the paint. Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll particularly struggled to hit from range; the pair hit just two of their thirteen shots from three.

The second quarter and early part of the third quarter were particularly ugly for both teams. Atlanta scored just 11 points in the second quarter and the Magic opened on a 17-5 run in the first six minutes of the third. The Hawks came roaring back in the final 18 minutes of the game, outscoring Orlando by 42-24 down the stretch, including a key 11-0 run to close the third quarter and tie the game at 64. Al Horford and Paul Millsap combined for 33 points on 13-for-25 shooting through three quarters, with Horford making a big three-pointer that tied the game with 39.5 left in the quarter.

Pero Antic did not play in the game due to flu-like symptoms and Coach Budenholzer said pregame that he would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game, opening up minutes from Elton Brand and Mike Muscala. Brand responded with one of the better one point, two rebound performances you’ll ever see and was the talk of the locker room after the game. Carroll praised Brand’s defensive toughness: “He came in there and just told us to be aggressive … Everybody started playing as hard as he did.” Horford echoed Carroll’s statement, saying, “His aggressiveness on defense and toughness really got us over the top.” Muscala didn’t see the floor in Antic’s absence due to Brand’s play.

Dennis Schröder had a terrible shooting night but changed the game with his defensive intensity. He even forced a five-second violation after a Hawks turnover and consistently picked up Magic guards as soon as they got the ball, hounding them all the way up the court. Coach Budenholzer had good things to say about the young guard after the game: “He was 1-for-7, but I was more interested and more encouraged by how active he was, his pace, and everything he did to help us turn the momentum.”

The Hawks may have played an ugly offensive game, but those games are going to happen in a long season and they did well to fight on the defensive end to close out a scrappy Orlando Magic team. The Hawks see the Magic again on Saturday in the second game of their home-and-home series in Orlando, where they will go for their tenth win in a row, something they haven’t done since January 1997.

Hosting the lowly 76ers after winning seven games in a row sure seemed like a classic trap game for the Hawks. However, the Hawks saw no such let up, controlling a mostly slow-tempo game on Wednesday night between them and Philadelphia, notching their eighth consecutive victory with a final score of 95-79.

Mike Scott missed this game due to flu-like symptoms, paving the way for Mike Muscala to make an impact off of the bench. In 19 minutes, Muscala recorded 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists after spending some time in the D-League due to the Hawks’ superb depth at the power forward and center positions.

“His length is something that always stands out every time Mike gets to play,” said Coach Budenholzer. “He affects the game at the defensive end, at the rim. He alters shots, blocks shots… on the boards, offensively and defensively, he has a presence.”

Muscala has now scratched playing time in seven games this year and he is starting to become an interesting factor off of the bench. He is not as good of a shooter as Scott, but Muscala still has a decent jumper and he impacts the game on rebounding and defense in a way that Scott does not. It’s a small sample size, but it might be worth investigating and rewarding Muscala with some more consistent playing time. The late first quarter/early second quarter line up of the bench players plus Horford? Put Muscala in there with Horford and see what happens.

Elsewhere on the roster, both Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver led the team with 17 points in Wednesday night’s game. Korver did his on 6-for-11 shooting and added two rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a block to his line. Millsap was only slightly less efficient, scoring his points on 7-for-13 shooting to go with eight rebounds and three assists. Continue Reading…

As the Atlanta Hawks continue their romp through the NBA’s easiest early-season schedule, the team has now assembled its first 7-game win streak since 2009. The Hawks won the first quarter 28-18 and never looked back, finishing off the Pacers 108-92 behind 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocks from Al Horford, along with 21 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals from Jeff Teague.

In the first half, it looked like the Hawks were going to blow open another one. The Hawks led 47-29 on a layup and free throw by Kyle Korver with 5:15 to play in the half. The Pacers responded with 3-pointers from Damjan Rudez and Rodney Stuckey and baskets from Luis Scola and Solomon Hill to close the gap to 49-39 before Mike Budenholzer called a timeout with 3:15 remaining in the first half.

Out of the timeout, Teague scored eight of his 10 points in the half, including a pair of layups in the last 30 seconds as the Hawks closed on an 11-4 run to take a 60-43 lead at halftime. Teague was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, had two assists, one rebound and a steal and was plus-11, best among the Hawks’ starters. Carroll shot 3-for-5 from 3-point range to finish the first half with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Horford scored a team-high 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Continue Reading…

The Hawks hosted the Denver Nuggets in a 3:30 matinee affair and walked out of Philips Arena with a 96-84 victory, the team’s sixth win in a row. The win also moves the Hawks to second in the East and first in the Southeast division by virtue of a tiebreaker over the Washington Wizards.

Paul Millsap led the way, scoring 23 points on 13 shots. Millsap kept the Hawks alive in the third quarter, where the Hawks were on the brink of blowing a 20-point lead. The forward had 14 of Atlanta’s 20 points in the quarter, going 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line.

“He’s a unique player in that he can score and impact the game in a lot of ways on the offensive end,” said Coach Budenholzer on Millsap. “He can play in the post, he can play off the dribble, off the elbows, and is also able to spread the floor and shoot 3s.”

As the Hawks have done for most of this six-game win streak, they started off well in the first quarter, taking a 32-21 lead after 12 minutes. “We came out and got a little bit of a cushion with our defense,” said Budenholzer. “I thought a lot of different guys contributed… I thought we finished the quarter well.” This great play in the first quarter was not there for the Hawks at the start of the season, where Atlanta was often falling behind early and forcing themselves to dig out of a hole. Continue Reading…

The Hawks destroyed the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night with a final score of 98-75.

The game started slow, with the scoreboard showing 18-16 in Brooklyn’s favor after the first quarter. That changed in the second quarter, as DeMarre Carroll got hot and hit four 3-pointers in the period, including a buzzer-beater to close the half. Carroll outscored the Nets on his own in the quarter, tallying 14 points to Brooklyn’s 13. The 13 points were a season-low in a quarter for the Nets.

The third quarter played a little tighter, but the Hawks had already built up a 20-plus point lead. By the time the fourth quarter started, the Hawks were again firing on all cylinders and the Atlanta led grew to as many as 32. Dennis Schröder was the main guy leading the Hawks at this point, as he scored 11 points and grabbed three steals in the quarter before being taken out of the game. Schröder’s totals for the game were 13 points, five assists, and four steals.

By the end of the game, the Hawks had taken all of the regulars off of the floor and had a lineup of Shelvin Mack, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore, Elton Brand, and Mike Muscala on the floor. Can’t say we’ve seen a lot of that lineup this year, although if more situations like this arise, I think the Atlanta faithful will gladly enjoy that lineup. Continue Reading…

Hawks Blast the Heat in Miami

Bo Churney —  December 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

The Hawks went down to Miami on Wednesday and defeated the Miami Heat 112-102 for the Hawks’ fourth straight win.

Atlanta controlled the game nearly wire-to-wire, opening up double-digit leads in as early as the first quarter. Sharing was caring to open the game, as the Hawks assisted on all 11 of their field goals in the quarter.

The second quarter saw Miami surge back, mostly behind the scoring of a healthy Dwyane Wade, who missed the first meeting between the two teams in November. Wade scored 10 in the quarter, cutting the Atlanta lead to one until the Hawks rallied behind Dennis Schröder, who closed the half with a wicked layup attempt in traffic, giving the Hawks a 55-47 lead.

The second half is where the Hawks really blew the doors off of the Heat, powered by Jeff Teague’s 22 second half points. Although the Heat were able to close the margin some, the Hawks were leading by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter after Teague hit a step-back 3-pointer. Teague finished the night with 27 points, five rebounds, and six assists, which was quite the performance after sitting on the bench for the entire fourth quarter the night before.

For the second straight night, Dennis Schröder set a new career-high in points, this time with 16. Schröder continues to be highly efficient with either scoring or passing on drives to the basket, and he augmented his scoring by hitting two 3-pointers against Miami. The young German is currently averaging 19.3 points and six assists per 36 minutes. Continue Reading…