Postgame Thoughts: Hawks Notch Fourth Straight Road Win
A few thoughts after tonight’s 114-103 win over the Pistons:
– The Hawks are rolling offensively right now. They’ve scored at least 100 points in eight of their past nine games and improved on their 97.4 points per game with 114 tonight.
– Al Horford continues his dominant play. He had 23 points and 22 rebounds, becoming the first Hawk with a 20-20 game since…Al Horford in 2010.
– How about the play of Jeff Teague lately? As I’ve said before, he has certainly filled the void left when Lou Williams went down with an ACL injury. Another great night for Teague with 20 points, 12 assists and only one turnover.
– In the first two meetings between these teams, the Pistons grabbed 118 total rebounds, which sounds like it could only happen in a video game. To make matters worse, they grabbed 38 offensive boards and out-rebounded Atlanta 118-85. Tonight Detroit won the rebounding battle, but only by four. The Hawks’ ability to hang with the Pistons on the glass was a huge reason they were able to build the lead.
– Is there such a thing as a quiet 23-point game from your best player? If so, Josh Smith defined it tonight. With all the talk about Horford and Teague, we forgot that Smith shot better than 50 percent on his way to tying Horford for the team lead in points.
– The Hawks got off to a slow start, and it wasn’t until Larry Drew inserted Devin Harris off the bench that the team started to find its groove. Down 24-19, Harris ignited an 8-0 run to close the first quarter by hitting two three-pointers. Atlanta never trailed again.
– Kyle Korver looks to have found his form after a couple of off shooting nights. The sharpshooter went 5-7 from downtown and has now made a three in 49 straight games.
– Congratulations to Dahntay Jones, who got his first bucket as a Hawk tonight – a transition layup on a pass from Harris.
All in all, this was a good win for the Hawks. Last time they were in Detroit, they were a season-high 10 games over .500 at 20-10, but a loss started a downward spiral that resulted in the team losing four straight and eight of 10. This is a completely different Hawks team than the one we saw eight weeks ago, so hopefully this result will start a trend in the other direction. You’d like to see them close the game a little better (Pistons scored 33 points in the fourth quarter), but nevertheless, Atlanta is now 2-0 on the six-game road trip but has the meat of the schedule ahead of them, starting Wednesday night with playoff-bound Utah.
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