Warriors Withstand Hawks Comeback, Get Historic 50th Win.

By Shawn Whelchel

With the aid of a third quarter outburst, the Hawks nearly played spoiler to the Warriors historic night. But the Splash Brothers found the bottom of the net late in the game to secure their record-setting 50th win of the season with a 102-92 victory in Atlanta.

The Warriors path to becoming the fastest team to 50 wins in NBA history got off to a good start Monday night, with the squad jumping out to a 19 point lead at the half. Atlanta entered the locker room room looking as if they had no answer for Golden State on either end of the court.

But the Hawks refused to rollover, using a third quarter flurry to turn the tables on Golden State, effectively giving them a taste of what they’ve done to so many other teams during the final six minutes of the frame. Facing their largest deficit of the game- at 23 points- Atlanta broke out for a torrid 28-6 run before closing out the third, reigniting their team and the crowd at Philips Arena.

Atlanta would use their momentum to jump out to an early three-point lead in the fourth before Golden State would regroup and refocus their efforts. With the game slipping away from them, the Warriors’ big players would go on to make big plays, as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would hit some crucial shots-including Thompson’s three ball to regain the lead- to shift the tide in their favor. Aiding Thompson and Curry’s efforts in the backcourt, C Andrew Bogut would use his size to come up with key blocks and a steal down the stretch, helping to stymy the Hawk’s scoring outburst before they sizzled out to just 17 points in the final frame.

Curry lead all scorers with 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting in the hard-fought win, followed by Thompson’s 27 points. Hampered by a nagging achilles injury, Bogut would put through just 3 points, but came up big for Golden State with his fourth quarter defense.

Following an interesting night against the Clippers, it was the second consecutive game that Golden State nearly lost control of. Part of this came at the Warriors insistence to live-and die- by the three ball. The tone was set early after a wide-open Curry passed up an easy look under the net to kick it out to a waiting Draymond Green behind the arc for the bucket. The Warriors would finish the night with 45 attempts from downtown, connecting on just 31.1 percent of those tries. Golden State’s 1-for-11 shooting from three point range in the third was part of their downfall, but Thompson and Curry’s sharpshooting in the fourth also helped to salvage the game.

Golden State’s win keeps them in contention to surpass Michael Jordan and the 1995-96 Chicago Bull’s record of 72 wins. The Warriors’ road trip continues with a matchup against the Miami Heat on Wednesday at American Airlines Arena.

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