Postgame Thoughts: Never-Say-Die Hawks Rally Again
A few thoughts after tonight’s 99-98 loss to the Lakers:
– The Hawks looked dead in the water about midway through the third quarter after the Lakers took a 65-49 lead. But we know these Hawks, and we know they don’t lay down. Led by Devin Harris and Kyle Korver off the bench, the Hawks chipped away at the lead and put themselves in position to win a tough road game. It just didn’t happen for them tonight.
– Al Horford is having the best stretch of his career. With 24 more points tonight, Horford now has nine straight games of 20+ points and now leads the team in scoring for the season.
– Only one person on our roster has the height to impact Dwight Howard’s shots. Johan Petro got some decent first half playing time and did a nice job on Howard. Dwight scored just 11 points on 5-12 shooting. Petro, meanwhile, had six points, eight rebounds and…yes…four steals. Great job keeping the Hawks in the game.
– Korver missed some open looks tonight but did extend his 3-point streak to 52 games. He made twice as many two-pointers (4) as three-pointers (2), which is rare.
– Jeff Teague has had a few tough offensive games in a row after a brilliant stretch in February. Over the past two games, he’s just 6-23 from the field. As he goes, the Hawks seem to go. Hopefully he can find the rhythm again.
– It should be once again noted that Larry Drew’s ability to draw up out-of-timeout plays is second to none. During the final stretch, the Hawks had several easy dunks and good looks, while the Lakers were forced into contested isolation. In a close game, we’ll take our guy over any other.
This is a tough loss for the Hawks, especially because they have to go to a place where visiting teams only go to lose tomorrow night. But the level of play tonight was significantly higher than Friday, and we once again saw that no quit attitude that has propelled this team to a top four spot in the East. Even if they do lose tomorrow (and let’s be honest, the Nuggets simply don’t know how to lose at home), a 3-3 road trip isn’t bad. Maybe (maybe?) we’ll catch Denver sleeping.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/NBAE/Getty Images