Postgame Thoughts: Turnovers, Cold Shooting Doom Hawks in Streak-Buster

Saturday, March 2, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v Phoenix Suns

A few thoughts after tonight’s 92-87 loss to the Suns:

– It’s a strange game isn’t it?  With tonight’s loss, the Hawks now have as many losses to the bottom four teams in the West as they do to the top five in that conference.  If anyone isn’t scratching their heads, please let me know.

Al Horford struggled all night to find his rhythm, yet still managed to come away with 20 points on 50 percent shooting.  Maybe we’ve been so spoiled by Al’s dominance recently that we forget he is human after all.  Still, a nice night for him.

– A neat thing about Horford’s 20 points is that it’s the eighth straight game with 20 or more for the big man. He hit an otherwise meaningless three-pointer at the buzzer tonight to keep that streak alive, which by the way was his second three of the game.  He’s now 3-5 this season from deep.

– Speaking of threes, Kyle Korver hit three of them tonight en route to 17 points and an extension of the three-point streak to 51 games.  Dear opponents – Don’t leave him open. Ever.

– The Hawks turned the ball over 21 times tonight. While the Suns didn’t take advantage like they could or probably should have, the 21 miscues was enough to stall the offense. The 87 points is the fewest scored by the Hawks since a 76-point output against Chicago on Feb. 2.

Anthony Tolliver, Devin Harris and Zaza Pachulia all sparked the Hawks off the bench, keeping the game close. Tolliver and Harris were so good to start the fourth quarter that Larry Drew elected to leave them out there instead of going back to Jeff Teague and DeShawn Stevenson.

– Stevenson may not have finished the game, but the fact that he was even playing was remarkable. In the opening minute he dislocated his finger while trying to catch a pass and immediately ran back to the locker room. He returned to the game and ended up scoring five points.

– Teague and Josh Smith were both off on the same night, which is usually a recipe for trouble. Teague went just 3-10 from the field, while J-Smoove was 2-11. They combined for just 11 points.

– Horford and Smith both have exactly 928 points this season.

All in all, it was a tough night for the Hawks. With more rebounds, assists and free throws than Phoenix, they certainly weren’t outplayed, but it felt like they beat themselves with the turnovers and poor shot selection at times. These types of games are bound to happen in the middle of a long road trip. Hopefully everyone got their bad games of the trip out of their systems on the same night, because two of the toughest games not only of the trip but of the season are next for Atlanta. They must steal one from either the Lakers or the Nuggets, two of the toughest places to win in the NBA, to secure a winning road trip.

Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

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