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.

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.