Hawks Fall In Washington
The Hawks (31-41) dropped their sixth straight in a hard fought contest 101-97 against the Wizards (38-35), as their late comeback effort fell short. Jeff Teague led the Hawks’ comeback effort late in the fourth quarter with nine of his team-high 19 points in the frame. Teague sparked an 8-0 run in the final minute of the game that gave them an opportunity to tie or take the lead with under 15 seconds to play.
|Hawks vs. Wizards|
Marcin Gortat got a great feed from John Wall with 20 seconds to play, but he left the layup short that would’ve given Washington a four point lead. Gortat redeemed himself on the defensive end with a block on Teague’s floater attempt, but the Hawks still had the ball with 11.1 seconds to play. Teague again was able to penetrate, but his scoop shot to tie hit the bottom of the rim and the rebound was collected by Drew Gooden, who iced the game with two free throws.
The Hawks starting unit was excellent led by Teague’s 19. Paul Millsap had 17 points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Millsap’s frontcourt mate Pero Antic had a terrific game in his return from a sprained ankle that kept him out of one game with 13 points and 12 rebounds and was a team-high +24. Cartier Martin got the start in DeMarre Carroll‘s place as Carroll dealt with an illness. Martin gave the Hawks a nice boost, particularly in the first half, and finished with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
The short-handed bench struggled on the defensive end, but fought hard and had some bright spots. Lou Williams had 12 points to lead all bench players and Dennis Schröder looked good with eight points in his 15 minutes of action. Unfortunately, too many miscues on the defensive end and 11 live-ball turnovers (14 overall) leading to 21 Wizards points were too much to overcome.
The Hawks led 60-52 midway through the third quarter, but a late quarter run by the Wizards and then a slow start to the fourth by Atlanta put them in a hole that they were unable to dig out of. Wall led the Wizards with 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Wall hit a couple big threes — one late in the third quarter and another with just a couple minutes to play in the fourth — during the Wizards’ run.
Gooden, who hit the two free throws to ice the game, was huge for Washington with 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 5-for-7 from the field. Gortat added 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks did pretty well on the glass to keep their deficit on the board to just 44-40, but the Wizards dominated with a 17-7 advantage in the third quarter when they made their run to take the lead for good.
The Hawks will be back in action on Monday against the Sixers, who snapped their 26-game losing streak in dominating fashion against the Pistons Saturday evening. Atlanta’s lead on the Knicks is back to 1.5 games for the eighth seed, and a two game lead in the loss column.