Kings beat the Hawks 146-115 for first win in Atlanta since 2006

Photo credit: @Deadspin

By: Jeremiah Salmonson

Last year, the Sacramento Kings were humiliated by the Atlanta Hawks. The King lost in Atlanta last year by a score of 80-126. Grant Napear was quoted as saying in pregame, “It was a game of men against boys” last season. This year, the Kings were looking to flip the script against Atlanta. The tip was scheduled for 4:30 PM PST on Thursday.

The Kings came ready to play in their first game action since Tuesday evening in Orlando. De’Aaron Fox appeared to put the back issues he has been experiencing behind him early to lead the Kings in the first half. The Kings and Hawks both came out shooting early on. Led by Buddy Hield (9 first-quarter points) and Nemenja Bjelica (10 first-quarter points) the Kings were able to jump out to an early lead in the first. As time winded down in the first, the score was 35-29 Kings on top.

The Kings couldn’t do much separating from the Hawks in the second quarter. Both teams would match each other shot for shot going into halftime. Leading the Kings was Fox, Hield and Nemenja Bjelica.

The third quarter is when the Kings turned it up a notch. Fox would get himself career-highs in points and assists before the end of the third to lead the Kings. Hield was also playing very well for the Kings in the third as they created separation from the Hawks. The Kings, looking for their first win in Atlanta since 2006, finished the third with 46 points and a 115-86 lead.

From this point on the game was Sacramento’s to lose, and they did not do that. Fox put together the first triple-double of his career and led the Kings to a 146-115 win. Fox was asked after the game if the game has slowed down and said, “The game has slowed down immensely.” Fox finished with 31 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds. Other notable performances included Hield (27 points), Bjelica (19 points), and Marvin Bagley (18 points).

Up Next: The Kings head to Milwaukee to face the undefeated Bucks at 12:30 PM PST on Sunday.

Warriors head trainer Chelsea Lane to leave Oakland for Atlanta

Photo credit: knbr.com

By: Ana Kieu

According to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, Golden State Warriors’ head trainer Chelsea Lane is leaving Oakland for Atlanta. Her new position is the Executive Director of Athletic Performance and Sports Medicine for the Atlanta Hawks.

Lane has worked with the Warriors for three seasons, and was reportedly very popular among the players for her holistic approach as well as honesty. Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala were two of her biggest supporters. She was the only woman in the NBA to head a team’s training staff.

The Warriors reportedly attempted to keep Lane, but she was interested in a bigger position with the Hawks.

“She’s been amazing, especially for me,” Curry said earlier this year. “Just thinking about all that I’ve been through this year with the ankle and the knee and all that type of stuff, she’s just kept me sane.”

Before joining the Warriors, Lane–a Australian native–worked with the New Zealand national track and field program.

Curry returns and helps Warriors in 106-94 win; leaves ball game early with knee injury

photo from sfgate.com: Golden State’s Stephen Curry bent over with pain from his injured left knee after receiving a right elbow to the knee from teammate JaVale McGee in Friday night’s contest at Oracle Arena against the Atlanta Hawks

By Jerry Feitelberg

There was good news and bad news at Oracle Arena Friday night as Curry returned to action and the Warriors downed the Atlanta Hawks 106-94. Curry started slowly but heated up and tallied 29 points before he injured his left knee with 3:09 to play in the third quarter. The injury occurred when JaVale McGee’s right elbow landed on Curry’s left knee when McGee was falling down. Curry was not able to continue, and the fans and the Warriors could not believe what happened.

Curry sprained his medial collateral ligament and was scheduled for an MRI on Saturday. The Warriors said: “We’ll see what the MRI says tomorrow, there’s not a whole lot we can do or predict keep your fingers crossed.” said head coach Steve Kerr. “We’re hoping for the best after everything he’s gone through, that was tough to see him go down like that” said Warrior point guard Quinn Cook.

“Kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate,” Kerr said. “He rehabs his ankle for the last couple weeks, he gets that strong and then the knee goes. So we’ll see what happens and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Atlanta won the first half 51-43. The Warriors scored just 16 points in the first quarter. They played a little better in the second quarter, but the Hawks outscored the by six to finish the half with an 8-point lead. The Warriors continued to own the third quarter as they poured in 36 points and the defense held the Hawks to 23. The Warriors won the fourth quarter outscoring the Hawks 27-20.

Game Notes and Stats: The Warriors were without the services of Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. As mentioned earlier, the extent of Curry’s injury is unknown, and the Warriors are holding their collective breaths until the results of the MRI are known.

Patrick McCaw returned to action after missing substantial playing time due to a broken wrist. Jordan Bell started in place of Draymond Green, and he finished the night with 12 points, four assists, seven rebounds, and one blocked shot. Nick Young started in place of Klay Thompson, and he added 24 points to the winning effort. Quinn Cook, who had played so well in Curry’s absence and now coming off the bench, kicked in with 13.

The Hawks were led by strong forward Taurean Prince 20, Dennis Schroder 16, Damion Lee 10, Tyler Dorsey 13, and Mike Muscala 11.

The Warriors improve to 54-18 and Atlanta falls to 21-52.

Up Next: The Warriors meet the Utah Jazz Sunday afternoon at 5:30 pm PST.

Curry tweaks ankle, but Warriors hold on for 114-109 win over Hawks

Photo credit: nba.com/warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Warriors finished the three-game road trip in Atlanta as they beat the lowly Hawks, 114-109, but it was not easy. The Warriors won their fifth game in a row since the All-Star Game and thought that the Hawks would be a pushover. The Hawks had different thoughts, and they gave the Warriors all they could handle before going down.

Warriors star Stephen Curry tweaked his ankle in the first quarter. He played the second quarter and dazzled the crowd as he scored 15 points. He played about five minutes in the third quarter and Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, took him out of the game for precautionary reasons. The Hawks won the third quarter and the game went down to the wire. The Hawks had the ball with six seconds left in the game and could have tied it if they could make a three-pointer. Fortunately for Golden State, Andre Iguodala stripped the ball from Kent Bazemore and sprinted down the court and finished with a dunk to seal the victory.

The Hawks were very competitive in the first quarter as they kept pace with the Dubs. The Warriors led by seven, 23-16, but went cold as the Hawks took the lead, 30-27, when they went on a 16-4 run. Iguodala made a three and Nick Young followed with a three of his own to regain the lead 33-30. The Hawks made a free throw and the period ended with the Dubs ahead 33-31.

The Warriors decided that they would establish superiority in the second quarter. Curry got hot as he scored 15. Young made two more threes, and Durant was solid with 12 points in the first half. The Warriors outscored the Hawks, 29-19, and finished the half with a 12-point lead of 62-50. The Dubs went to the locker room knowing that they own the third quarter and felt they were about to blow out Atlanta.

In the third quarter, Atlanta matched the Dubs shot-for-shot. Fans have to remember that the NBA is a very competitive league and even lowly teams can rise up and beat the elite teams if they catch them on an off-night. The Warriors led their guard down, and the Hawks won the quarter 34-28 to close the gap to just six points when Hawk guard Dennis Schroder nailed a three at the buzzer. The Dubs lead 90-84 at the end of three quarters.

The Warriors increased the lead to fourteen 101-87, and it looked as if they were going to cruise to victory. They were able to hold the Hawks off, but with 2:18 left in the game and leading by eleven 111-100, the Warriors went cold.  In addition, they started to make bad decisions and turned the ball over several times to give the Hawks life. They failed to score a point until there were just 18 seconds left in the game. The Hawks went on a 9-0 run to make it a two-point game. The Hawks fouled Durant. If Durant makes the two free throws, it would have sealed the win, but Durant made just one, and that gave the Hawks hope that they could tie the game. The Warriors played great defense as Iguodala bottled up Bazemore and made the steal and ran the court and finished with a bucket to ice it for the Warriors.

The final score was 114-109.

Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors improve to 49-14 while Atlanta drops to 19-44.

With his first three-point bucket in the first quarter, Stephen Curry reached the 200 mark for the sixth season in a row. He’s the first player in NBA history to accomplish that feat.

Even though he missed most of the second half, Curry tied with Kevin Durant for the scoring lead. Curry and Durant each tallied 28. Draymond Green scored just two points in the game, but he helped out with nine assists and seven rebounds. Klay Thompson chipped in with 15, and Nick Young added 16.

The Hawks were led by former Warrior Kent Bazemore along with Dennis Schroder. Bazemore tallied 29 and Schroder kicked in 27. John Collins had 16, and Taurean Prince recorded 15.

Curry felt that his ankle was fine, and he wanted to continue to play, but the Warriors’ coaching staff had other ideas.

“Basically their call,” Curry said. “Frustrating, but big picture, I understand…I don’t think it’s going to be anything that will keep me out.”

Kerr said Curry was “limping a little bit” in the third quarter, leading to the “precautionary” decision to take him out of the game for good.

Andre Iguodala had this to say about the steal that won the game: “Kent lost the ball, and it just fumbled to me.”

Kerr said the steal was “a hell of a play, an attacking, defensive play. Pretty impressive basically just to take the ball from Kent and go down and finish the game…That was amazing.”

Up Next: The Warriors return home to face the Brooklyn Nets at Oracle Arena Tuesday night March 6th at 7:30 pm PT.

Kings lose third straight game in 126-80 laugher to Hawks

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) has the ball knocked away by Sacramento Kings center Georgios Papagiannis (13) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

By: Ana Kieu

ATLANTA — The Sacramento Kings suffered a third straight loss in a 126-80 blowout by the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena on Wednesday night.

The Kings were hoping to snap a two-game losing skid while the Hawks were in an even worse situation, losing four of their last five games. Unfortunately, Sacramento unable to achieve the goal they initially had in mind and Atlanta caught them off guard in a 126-80 blowout win on home court.

The Kings suffered a horrible loss, but at least they were savage from start to finish.

The Kings trailed by eight (24-16 Hawks lead) at the end of the first quarter.

Kosta Koufos’ field goal pulled the Kings within five (26-21 Hawks lead) with 10:50 left in the second quarter. But the Hawks offense came alive and that wasn’t an understatement as they finished the quarter with 40 points.

The Kings trailed the Hawks 64-35 at the end of the first half. But you can’t deny the fact the besieged team had some fun on Twitter during halftime.

The Kings’ misery didn’t stop in the second half as they continued to dig themselves into a hole in a 92-61 deficit to the Hawks at the end of the third quarter.

As expected, the Kings dug themselves in a hole and never got back up in what eventually became a 126-80 blowout loss to the Hawks at the end of regulation. Luckily, Sacramento will return home to host the Trail Blazers before a rematch at the Moda Center.

Notes
Kings’ starting lineup
George Hill
Garrett Temple
Willie Cauley-Stein
Bogdan Bogdanovic
Zach Randolph

Hawks’ starting lineup
Dennis Schroeder
Kent Bazemore
Dewayne Dedmon
Taurean Price
Luke Babbitt

Up Next
Kings return home to host the Trail Blazers on Friday, November 17 at 7 pm PST.

Hawks finish their homestand against the Celtics on Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 pm EST.

The Warriors squeak by the Hawks, win twelfth in a row

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors had to fight tooth and nail to defeat the Atlanta Hawks Monday night at the Oracle Arena. The Dubs trailed for most of the game but rallied in the fourth quarter to down the Hawks 105-100. The game was a thriller, and the outcome was in doubt until the final fifteen seconds of the contest.

The Dubs got off to a slow start as they trailed the Hawks 14-8 in the early going. The Dubs went on a 15-1 run to take a 23-15 lead, but the Hawks clawed their way back and trailed the Dubs 29-27 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawks played their game and refused to let the Warriors get any rhythm. Atlanta, coached by Mike Budenholzer who was an assistant at San Antonio under Greg Popovic, had his team use most of the twenty-four-second clock as they took the lead 42-38. The Dubs tied the game at 44, but Atlanta kept making shots and led by three 53-50 at the half. Klay Thompson put in fifteen for the Dubs while Steph Curry and Kevin Durant were held to 8 points each. Malcolm Delaney and Dennis Schroder had nine each and Tim Hardaway; Jr added eight. The Warriors committed eleven turnovers in the half and looked like they were out of sync.

The Hawks led the entire third quarter. Every time the Dubs got close, the Hawks had an answer. They led by seven 74-67 with just 3:53 left in the quarter. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala each made a three-point shot to close the gap to just two points 78-76. The Hawks increased the lead to four but backup guard Ian Clark hit a three-pointer as time expired to make it a one-point game 81-80. The Dubs scored the first ten points to start the fourth quarter. Iguodala made two clutch layups to put the Dubs ahead by five 86-81. The Hawks would not fold. They fought back but could not regain the lead. They narrowed the lead to two, but the Warriors fought them off. Steph made a huge three-point bucket to put the Dubs up by eight 102-94. The Hawks know how to play defense too, and the kept the Dubs from scoring. However, Draymond Green stepped up in the final few minutes of the game as he blocked a Dennis Schroder shot and seemed to be everywhere as he guarded Hawks’ center Dwight Howard and guard Dennis Schroder. The Dubs held on to win their twelfth game in a row 105-100. The game was a thriller.

Game Notes- The Warriors are now 16-2 for the season. The twelve-game winning streak is fourth longest in franchise history.  The Warriors big three of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson all scored over twenty points in the game. The Dubs are 8-0 when those three score more than 20 in a game. Durant had a double-double with twenty-five points and fourteen rebounds; Durant blocked two shots too. Steph added twenty-five and three assists and three boards. Klay Thompson knocked down twenty. Draymond Green was fantastic on defense; Green had just three rebounds, but he blocked four shots. Andre Iguodala scored twelve, and he had five assists, five rebounds, and one blocked shot. Andre provided the spark the Dubs needed to get the win. The Warriors committed eleven turnovers in the first half but just four in the second. Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 24. Paul Millsap had fourteen points and fourteen rebounds for Atlanta. The big man, Dwight Howard added fourteen and had sixteen boards. Atlanta falls to 10-8.

After the game, coach Steve Kerr had this to say about the defense and Draymond Green in particular. “That was amazing. Don’t know if I ever saw a sequence like that. Incredible defensive sequence. (Green) can guard anyone in the league. Defense in the second half was great. I thought Andre was brilliant. He played with great energy, such a great basketball player.”

The Warriors meet the Houston Rockets Thursday night at the Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm.

Kings clip Hawks wings to win fourth straight

by Michael Martinez

Photo by Steve Yeater/ AP Photo

SACRAMENTO – No Rudy Gay tonight, no problem. The Kings found a way to close out a game, even though they were up by 17 at one point. The team played well together, at least the starters did. The team shot poorly, but showed toughness and tenacity. With a half game lead over the Utah Jazz, the Kings looked to win a fourth straight over the Atlanta Hawks at Sleep Train Arena.

The first quarter was a back and forth contest but once again the Kings dominated the paint, helping them maintain a lead for most of the quarter. DeMarcus Cousins got off to a great start as he totaled 11 points and crashed the glass hard with eight rebounds. The Kings passed the ball well throughout the quarter by using the extra pass to find the best shot. Every starter scored in the quarter.

The Kings finished the quarter with nine assists, five of those assists coming from the smooth hands of Rajon Rondo. The team played much better defense as well causing four turnovers, but left Kyle Korver open on a couple occasions for two three point field goals. Willie Cauley-Stein’s presence was felt as he limited Paul Millsap to two points. Cauley-Stein’s tremendous athleticism has improved the team’s overall defense quite a bit. Sacramento totaled 16 boards to Atlanta’s six and finished the quarter ahead of the Hawks, 27-20.

In the second quarter, the Kings struggled mightily, shooting the ball at 30.4% and got off to a slow start. Luckily, the Hawks did not shoot that well either as both teams had very little offense. Cauley-Stein scored six in the quarter and finished with eight points in the quarter adding seven rebounds. Cousins finished the quarter with a double double, 13 points and 10 boards.

The Kings offense was disappointing in the quarter due to little ball movement. After doing a great job in the first, the ball stopped moving and the Kings players seemed to play a little too much one on one. As the Kings hit the glass hard, their dominance on the boards gave them nine second chance points in the first half. Boogie had a game high of 13 points in the half but nine turnovers helped the Hawks cut down the Kings lead to 3 at the half. Heading into the locker room, Sacramento led Atlanta 47-44. Millsap had a team high for the Hawks with nine points.

Out of the break, the Kings struck first but the Hawks answered quickly going up 50-49. The Kings then got some fire under their belts, going on a 18-0 run. The run started with a free throw by Boogie to tie up the game and the team kept going from there. Sacramento ran the court extremely well with nine fast break points.

The crowd went nuts when Ben McLemore hit a three pointer and took a bump, completing a four point play and putting up a 9-0 run. Casspi then hit a three pointer, followed by a Rondo lay up. The Hawks tried to end the run when Dennis Schröder had a fast break lay up, but DMC blocked him. The run was capped off with an awesome alley-oop pass from Rondo to McLemore that caused a thunderous roar throughout the arena.

The Hawks called a timeout and the Kings momentum dwindled. The Hawks ended the quarter on a 13-5 run after the time out, giving the Kings a 72-63 lead. The Kings ball movement was once again terrific, totaling seven team assists. Both teams still did not shoot well, the Hawks shot a miserable 35% in the quarter and the Kings defense helped them break out. The team caused seven turnovers for 14 of their 25 quarter points.

Up by nine to start the fourth quarter, the Kings needed a gritty, gutsy performance to hold on to the eight seed in the Western Conference. Sacramento did show guts, but the second unit allowed the Hawks to hang around and make the game really close. The second unit had little ball movement and the team shot an awful 25% for the quarter. The Hawks were able to kick off the quarter with a 10-2 run and Cousins stopped the bleeding with a lay up.

As the quarter moved along, Kent Bazemore tied the game up at 80 with a little under six minutes remaining, but Omri Casspi answered with a three pointer. The Kings ball movement faded once again. Korver hit a three pointer to take the lead down to 1, 86-85. With 41.3 seconds remaining, Cauley-Stein was fouled and made two big free throws to go up 88-85.

“Y’all’s guess is as good [as] mine” Cauley-Stein said when asked about the last time he made back to back free throws.

After the free throws, the Hawks got down the court and Schröder made a big shot beyond the arc to tie the game up at 88 with 28.5 seconds left. The Kings took a time out and it appeared that Coach George Karl drew up the perfect play. Rondo pushed the ball inside to Cous, who dumped it off and set a pick to give Rondo a wide open lay up for a 90-88 lead with 12.9 seconds to go. Out of Atlanta’s time out, Millsap lost the ball straight into Casspi’s hands who called a time out with 3.3 left.

Darren Collison got the ball in the back court from Rondo and was fouled with 1.9 left. Collison missed the first free throw, but made the second. Atlanta took another time out and on the in bound pass it appeared Cauley-Stein tipped the ball to cause another turn over to end the game. Cauley-Stein’s length and defense helped end the game and all those turn overs caught up to the Hawks. The Kings won, 91-88, and heard loud cheers from the fans who brought a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The crowd played a huge role in helping the Kings pull through and close out an important game.

19 turnovers and a 35.4 shooting percentage should have resulted in a loss for the Kings, but they showed heart and found a way to pull through. Cauley-Stein finished with his second consecutive and career double double, 12 points and 11 boards. Cousins totaled 24 points and 15 rebounds for a ninth game in a row.

“Just playing hard,” Cauley-Stein said when asked about his second double double.

WCS also preached about playing for his teammates giving him the motivation to play at such a high level and with such intensity.

Rondo notched his fifth triple double on the season with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Rondo tied Chris Webber for the most triple doubles in a season by a Kings player in the Sacramento era and we are not even at the All Star break.

“Man, he got the triple double because of me,” Cousins said with a laugh.

“The impact he has on games is incredible, I’m glad I can go to war with him” Boogie said.

Without one of their big three, Rondo and Cousins pulled out all the stops and meshed well together. Cauley-Stein was also a huge factor and McLemore stepped up to finish with 14 points. The Kings hit the glass hard and played big over a small Atlanta team with 56 rebounds to Atlanta’s 42. The Hawks only led by two at the beginning of the game and Sacramento proved why they deserve to be in the playoff hunt. The Kings now hold a game lead over the Jazz for the eighth seed and are two back of the Houston Rockets for the seventh spot.

This Saturday, the Kings will take on the Indiana Pacers and All Star starter Paul George at home to go for a fifth straight win.

Hot Shooting Hawks Hand The Kings Their Fourth Straight Loss.

By Shawn Whelchel

 

The Sacramento Kings were steadily dispatched by the Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks, as they suffered a 130-105 blowout on the road Monday night.

In what amassed to a shootout, the Kings allowed all five Atlanta starters to reach double figures, with the team being led by Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll, both of whom scored 20 points on the night while leading their team to victory over the Kings.

The Kings couldn’t come up with timely stops en route to giving up 130 points on the night, allowing the kings to shoot 60 percent on the field while surpassing their previous season high of 127 points in the process.

Sacramento’s defense was especially poor beyond the arc, where it allowed a league leading 20 three-pointers in the contest. Atlanta also set another NBA season record with 42 assists on the night in route to their scoring outburst.

The Kings were able to break the centennial amount on the night, led by Rudy Gay’s 23 points, but it was too little to match the sharp shooting Hawks, who seemingly couldn’t miss. DeMarcus Cousins notched another double-double under his belt by scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 boards on the night.

The Kings have not gotten out to as hot of a start as expected since new coach George Karl took over, going just 3-7 in that span while sporting a four game losing streak. The Kings will continue their road trip against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Hawks get by Warriors in matchup of NBA heavyweights

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

ATLANTA — If critics still had their doubts about the Atlanta Hawks being the best team in the NBA.

Doubt no more.

Atlanta finished with seven players score in double figures, led by Jeff Teague’s 23 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field, but shot 11-of-11 from the charity stripe as the Hawks shot a blistering 70.6 percent in the third quarter to take a 124-116 home victory over the Golden State Warriors Friday night in the battle of the top two teams from each conference.

Paul Milsap scored 21 points, Kyle Korver had 17 points (5-of-9 from 3-point range), and Al Horford finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who improved to an NBA-best 42-9 and 14-3 versus the Western Conference with the victory.

The lion share of the credit must got to the Hawks’ bench, that really determine the outcome of the game.

Mike Scott scored 17 points, Kent Bazemore had 11 points, and Dennis Schroder finished with nine points but combined to sink 7-of-8 on 3s. The second-best 3-pointing shooting shot 15-of-27 from 3-point range and outscored the Warrior’s bench, 39-32.

“They were good,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “They were better than us. We broke down defensively. They had a lot to do with that because of the way they stretch you out.”

The Hawks have won 21 of their last 22 games following a franchise record 19-game winning streak.

After leading 25-21 at the end of the first quarter, Golden State (39-9) just slowed down against Hawks team that improved to 25-3 at home this season, second to Golden State’s 23-2 record at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson had a game-high 29 points and Stephen Curry scored 26 points, to go along with nine assist and one turnover.

Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green had 12 points apiece, but Green had a gigantic night on the glass, finishing with a career-high 20 rebounds.

Golden State did have their way with the Hawks in the paint, outscoring Atlanta 58-36 down low. The Warriors even held the edge in rebounding, outrebouding the Hawks 51-38.

But Golden State committed too many turnovers (14), and never overcame the 14-4 run by Atlanta in the final minute of the second quarter after leading 50-47.

Golden State will have another chance at Atlanta when the Hawks visit Oakland on Mar. 18.

The Warriors continue their road trip Saturday night at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks, their fourth game in five nights.

Extra Buckets:

  • The game showcase three of the eight contenders in the Three-Point Contest before NBA All-Star Weekend in New York Feb. 14 in Warriors’ duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and Atlanta’s Kyle Korver.
  • The entire starting five of the Hawks (Horford, Teague, Korver, Milsap, and Carroll) were named Eastern Conference Players of the Month for January, the first time in NBA history that an entire starting five were given the honor. Atlanta finished 17-0 in January, tops in the NBA.
  • Apparently, Curry does not like Teague defending him at all. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Curry shot 3-of-8 on jump shots with Teague as his primary defender. In the first quarter, Curry shot 1-of-6 from the field, his worst of the season. He was 0-of-4 against Teague.

Despite Rally, Depleted Dubs Downed by Desperate Knicks

By Matthew Harrington

With Oakland native MC Hammer sitting courtside at Oracle Arena, it was the visiting New York Knicks who brought the hammer down on the shorthanded Golden State Warriors 89-84 Sunday night. New York used a big second quarter to grab the lead before its play down the stretch in holding off a Warriors comeback bid echoed Hammer’s hit “Can’t Touch this”.

Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry continued his strong play against the Knicks, collecting his third 30-plus point performance against the Gothamites in two seasons. Curry went 10-for-21 from the field, including hitting half of his 12 three-point attempts, for 32 points in 40 minutes of play. Andre Iguodala (12) and Klay Thompson (15) also finished in double-digits in scoring, but the absence of David Lee and Andrew Bogut from the frontcourt doomed the Dubs.

Guard J.R. Smith topped the Knicks with 21 points while Carmelo Anthony went 7-of-21 from the field for 19. Amare Stoudemire reeled in a game-high 13 rebounds for the desperate Knicks (31-43) who entered Sunday sitting a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Warriors (45-28) appeared to have the game in hand after a dominant 32-22 first quarter but the visitors fired back with a dominant second 12 minutes to take the 56- 44 halftime lead. New York stifled its host to only 12 second-quarter points while exploding for 34 of its own.

The Dubs cut the lead by four after the third frame, scoring 22 points to New York’s 18 then continued its run to nearly force a tie early in the quarter at 74-72. The Knicks would add breathing room before a Warriors 6-0 run capped by a Curry trey knotted the game at 81-81 with 2:48 left in regulation. The Knicks held the Warriors to only one basket, a three out of the hands of Thompson, down the stretch while Anthony netted four of New York’s eight points over final three minutes to hang on for the win.

Golden State hopes to have Lee back for Tuesday’s pivotal contest in Dallas with Western Conference playoff implications. The Mavericks currently sit in ninth place, outside the playoffs looking in, and are two games behind the Warriors who sit in sixth place. Bogut is not expected to play Tuesday or Wednesday night as Golden State heads to San Antonio Spurs.