The Hawks were in Washington on Tuesday night for the first game of a four-games-in-five-nights stretch and walked away with the win, 106-102. Jeff Teague led the way with 28 points and Mike Scott came up big off the bench with 17 points and seven rebounds, with 12 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks took a 41-39 lead into the break, but it was an uglier first half than the scoreline indicates. The referees were prominently involved on both ends, and when the teams weren’t being fouled, they were turning it over. There were 18 fouls called in the first half, split evenly between the two teams, and the teams combined to turn the ball over 23 times. Both teams shot under 40% in the first half, including a disastrous 1-for-7 performance from DeMarre Carroll and a combined 2-for-14 from the Wizards’ Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal. The two point guards led the way for their respective teams; Teague had 10 points and John Wall had 13 at the half.
Atlanta cleaned up their offense in the second half and continued to force turnovers from the sloppy Wizards guards. Wall and Beal accounted for 13 of the 25 Wizards turnovers and the Hawks took full advantage, scoring 32 points off of those 25 turnovers. Atlanta finished with 13 steals and 6 blocks, including a season-high four steals for Carroll.
The Wizards constantly switched on the 1-5 pick and roll, leaving Teague one-on-one against Marcin Gortat. Teague had his way attacking the big man off the dribble, and with his floaters and layups falling tonight, Coach Budenholzer was more than happy to let him continue to attack. Teague finished with just three assists, but he was scoring in the paint so consistently that there was no reason for him to do anything but continue to attack. Nene missed the game for Washington, and the Wizards were hurt by the lack of big men to help stop Teague’s drives to the basket.
Particularly disappointing was the performance of Kyle Korver, who didn’t make a field goal in 25 minutes of action. Shelvin Mack was responsible for Korver’s lack of minutes, especially in the fourth quarter, when Korver came in for just one possession. Mack filled the box score off the bench with 13 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals, including the clinching free throw at the end of the game.
The Hawks move to 7-5 on the young season and have won six games in their last eight. Toronto comes to Atlanta on Wednesday, followed by New Orleans and Charlotte over the weekend. This is an important stretch for the Hawks with so many games in a short timeframe and they are off to a great start with this away win over a division rival.