The Atlanta Hawks put a lot into their 2013-2014 Philips Arena debut, but came up short versus the San Antonio Spurs and lost 106-104.
All Hawks starters logged over 30-minutes of playing time, paced by Kyle Korver’s game high 26 points. Al Horford (13 pts / 11 rebs), Paul Millsap (10 pts / 11 rebs), and Jeff Teague (15 pts / 12 ast) notched double-doubles.
The first half was played at a fast, competitive pace. The Hawks trailed by only three points at the half, however, a poor defensive third quarter proved to be their undoing. The Spurs scored 38 points in the third and stretched their lead to 15 points heading into the final period.
The Hawks rallied in the fourth quarter, evening the game at 104 apiece thanks to a Teague three-pointer. From there the stage was set for Spurs forward Aron Baynes to hit what proved to be the game-winning shot with three seconds remaining. Atlanta called a timeout after Baynes shot and ran a creative play that got Kyle Korver a look at an open three-pointer, but he wasn’t able to get it off in time as the clock expired.
The Hawks played without Lou Williams (knee), Gustovo Ayon (shoulder), John Jenkins (back), and Dennis Schroder (undisclosed). All four players will see time in the team’s regular rotation when healthy.
With the loss, Atlanta falls to 1-3 this preseason. They’ll return to Philips Arena on Sunday afternoon to host the Memphis Grizzlies.
Here is a look at the good and bad from tonight’s game.
- Basketball is back in Philips Arena.
- Kyle Korver was terrific. His shooting release looks quicker and his 26 points came from a variety of spots on the floor.
- Jeff Teague was solid. He is noticeably bigger than last season and tonight he played strong. He attacked the basket on several occasions, including a nice reverse layup right before the half to cut the Spurs lead to 3.
- Coach Budenholzer’s system was on display. The Hawks did not take many bad shots (in fact, I only considered one shot, a Mike Scott three-point attempt, a poor one). The ball movement was better than its been in years.
- Jared Cunningham dunks. Cunningham may not be on the team when the Hawks open the season in Dallas. However, he showed off his tremendous jumping ability, throwing down two electrifying jams.
- The Hawks got to the free-throw line. They shot 29 free-throws (made 19). The team is clearly focused on getting the basket. Rarely did any Hawks player settle for an outside shot. This aggressive style of play created open looks for several Hawks.
- The fourth quarter rally was against the Spurs backups. As the Hawks drew closer and closer to the Spurs, the starting five of Duncan, Parker, Leonard, Splitter, and Ginoibli were resting on the bench. Patty Mills was likely the best player on the floor for the Spurs when the Hawks made their move.
- Turnovers continue to be a problem. The Hawks had been averaging a little over 20 turnovers in their previous exhibition games. Tonight they had 16. This is better, but there is still plenty of room to improve in this area.
- The 3rd quarter continues to be a problem. The Hawks have struggled coming out of the halftime locker room for the past several seasons. Tonight they allowed 38 third quarter points and were forced to dig out of a 15 point hole.
- Free-throw shooting: As mentioned above, terrific job getting to the line, but only making 19-of-29 is not good enough.