By Matthew Harrington
To string together eight-straight victories in professional sports a team finds a variety of ways to win. On Friday night in Atlanta, the Golden State Warriors produced a victory of the nail-biting variety with Andre Iguodala hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 101-100 thriller over the Hawks from Phillips Arena. The Warriors (22-13), winners of 9 of their last ten, now boast their longest win-streak in since April of the 2005 season.
The three-pointer was one of three baskets from the field for the forward who ended the night with seven points and five assists. David Lee (23), Stephen Curry (22) and Klay Thompson (21) all cracked the 20’s in scoring for the red-hot Warriors in their eighth-straight win, five of which have come on the road. Center Pero Antic set a career-high with 16 points for the Hawks (18-15), while reserve Shelvin Mack chipped in 15 points off the bench. Paul Millsap had a game-high 11 rebounds. Andrew Bogut topped the Warriors with nine boards after leaving Thursday’s win against defending champion Miami early due to a calf injury.
Iguodala’s trey with time expired stood as one of only shots from downtown the Warriors converted on, quite a letdown from the season-high of 15 made Thursday over the Heat. Despite the 22 points, Curry struggled from beyond the arc, hitting only one of seven deep shots, to accompany a game-leading nine turnovers.
The Warriors held a 24-21 lead after 12 minutes of play, but a second quarter that saw the Hawks outscore Golden State 25-22 to send both teams to the locker room tied at 46 at the midway point. In total, the lead changed hands three times in the second quarter, with the Hawks hitting a three and a lay-up to open the quarter on consecutive baskets for a 26-24 lead just a minute and a half in. The Warriors would not take back their lead until late in the quarter when a Klay Thompson jumper with 3:48 left made it 37-36 Warriors. Atlanta then outscored the Warriors 10-7 to regain their edge before the Warriors knotted it back up.
Atlanta allowed only 18 Warriors points in the third quarter to 26 Hawks tallies for a 72-64 lead before the Warriors went on a 37-28 fourth quarter run capped by Iguodala’s game-winner.
A game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the Pacific Division lead, the Warriors continue their tour of the South with a Sunday tip-off from Washington, their fifth stop of a seven game road trip. A win would make it nine in a row for Golden State, who also enter the game having bested Washington in 9 of their last 12 meetings, including a sweep of last season’s series.