Hawks Season Review: Top 5 Games of 2013-14
The Hawks were no strangers to close games this season, with 30 of their 82 games decided by 5 or fewer points, and also had some dominating performances sprinkled in along the way, so choosing the Top 5 games of this season was a difficult task. These are my personal choices, but these were the five games that stick out the most to me when I think back on this past season.
5. Jan. 3, 2014 – Golden State Warriors 101, Atlanta Hawks 100
I know, the Hawks lost, but this was without a doubt one of the most exciting games of the season. For the Hawks, it ended in heartbreak as Andre Iguodala made a deep three-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer to give the Warriors a one-point win. The Hawks led by as many as 12 in the fourth quarter, but Steph Curry got hot in the to lead the Warriors’ comeback. Despite the end result, this was the fourth game that the Hawks played without Al Horford, and it showed that they were still going to be extremely competitive against the top teams in the NBA with Pero Antic in the lineup — Pero had 16 in this game including four three-pointers.
4. Dec. 26, 2013 – Atlanta Hawks 127, Cleveland Cavaliers 125 (2OT)
This game was memorable for a number of reasons, most of them good, and then one exceptionally unfortunate. The dual between Jeff Teague and Kyrie Irving was incredible, as Teague went for 34 points and 14 assists, while Irving dropped 40 points and nine assists. Horford was exceptional for the first three-plus quarters with 25 points and eight rebounds, but this was also the game that he tore his right pectoral muscle. The Hawks would go on to win in double-overtime, fighting back from a five-point deficit late thanks to some clutch shooting by Kyle Korver.
3. April 24, 2014 – Atlanta Hawks 98, Indiana Pacers 85
After splitting the first two games in Indiana, the Hawks came back to Philips Arena and put on a great show for the home fans. The arena was as loud in support of the Hawks as it has ever been, and the team responded with a great 13-point victory. The Hawks shot the ball terribly in the first half, but got it going in the second half as they pulled away to take a 2-1 series lead. Korver and DeMarre Carroll combined for 38 points on 12-of-17 shooting and Korver drained four threes in the second half. Jeff Teague was exceptional down the stretch and finished with 22 points and 10 assists, including the incredible fading three as the shot-clock expired in the fourth quarter. The Hawks would not win again in their final two games at Philips Arena, but for that night Atlanta was treated to a tremendous performance by the Hawks.
2. December 28, 2013 – Atlanta Hawks 118, Charlotte Bobcats 116 (OT)
This was the Hawks first game without Horford, and Paul Millsap immediately showed that he would be able to handle a bigger workload. Millsap had 33 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-18 shooting and was a dominant force. Lou Williams had 28 points in his best game of the season, and, of course, there was the Antic one-footed three-pointer that sent the game to overtime — his only made basket of the game. This game was the most memorable regular-season game of the year for me, because it featured dominant performances and one of the most incredible moments of the regular season in Antic’s three.
1. April 28, 2014 – Atlanta Hawks 107, Indiana Pacers 97
The second quarter of Game 5 of the Hawks first round series with the Pacers was quite possibly the most incredible individual quarter I can remember watching. Mike Scott caught fire, making five three-pointers, on his way to a 17 point second quarter. Shelvin Mack came off the bench as well for 13 points as the Hawks dominated the Pacers 41-19 in that quarter — detailed here. The Hawks went on to win the game by 10, as the Pacers fought back from down as many as 30 to make it somewhat close in the fourth, but that second quarter performance was without a doubt the most memorable thing from this season for me.