A little over a week ago, we took a look at Atlanta’s longest homestand of the season and now we find the Hawks back in the third spot in the Eastern Conference Standings with the chance to separate from the rest of the pack.
The Atlanta Hawks are now 12-11 this season after grabbing three wins out of four at home, including one big victory over a tough Los Angeles Clippers squad that is currently occupying the 4th seed in the Western Conference standings.
The home stretch had its ups and downs, as well as some exciting moments that some fans maybe be glad they witnessed for the rest of the season. One particular achievement that most of the association was paying attention to was Kyle Korver’s tying and then breaking of Dana Barros’ record for most consecutive games with a made three-pointer. Kyle tied Dana against the Clippers and then broke the record the following game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Paul Millsap also reached some impressive achievements as he surpassed 7,000 points and 1,000 assists in his career.
The Hawks got on a role in the first home game against the Clippers and seemed to stay in control the entire contest. Paul Millsap had the most impressive night as he took advantage of his matchup against Blake Griffin, who struggled to contain Paul the entire game. Millsap finished with 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Kyle Korver also seemed to be in the zone on the night in which he made his mark in the record books. Kyle was six-of-nine from behind the arc and finished with 23 points in his first game back after a four-game absence due to a rib injury.
Atlanta followed the excellent performance against Los Angeles with another great night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs had no answers for a Hawks squad that came out firing from the perimeter. Going into the game, everyone had their eyes fixated on Kyle Korver as he seeked out to break Barros’ record. The three he needed came about seven minutes into the first quarter and a timeout followed to give the crowd a chance to congratulate him. Korver finished the night with 10 points on four-of-six from the field. Another strong performance for Paul Millsap headlined the Hawks’ victory as he accomplished a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
After a few nights off, the Hawks found themselves matched up with another Western Conference foe in the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team came out of the gates a bit cold from the field, but the Thunder did as well and the two teams found themselves tied after the first quarter. However, the Hawks stayed cold going into the second and the Thunder pulled out to nine-point lead by the half, and Atlanta was never able to catch up in the second half, falling to Oklahoma City 101-92. Al Horford had a particularly tough night as he finished with only seven points, shooting 3-of-10 overall. Millsap lead the way for the Hawks offensively as he provided 23 points, in addition to making it a double-double performance with 12 rebounds.
The Hawks bounced back from the loss by grabbing a win over the Washington Wizards in an exciting finish. The two teams stayed close for the first half, as the Hawks only managed to build a two point lead, but a strong third quarter gave the Hawks the opportunity to put the Wizards away. The Hawks entered the fourth with a 10-point lead over Washington before John Wall decided to wake up. Wall struggled for the most part in the first three quarters and only had two points when the fourth began, but the Wizards made a comeback bid with eight minutes left as the team went on a 16-6 run, nine of which came from Wall, to force the game into overtime. The teams stayed close in extra time until the final few seconds. Coach Budenholzer took a timeout with 1.8 left on the clock following an impressive layup by Trevor Booker that tied the game. Budenholzer exited the timeout with one of the oddest lineups we’ve seen so far this season as Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Pero Antic, Elton Brand and Paul Millsap took the floor for the final play. Antic started the final play as he imbounded the ball across the court and found Al Horford at the block. Al came down with the pass and immediately went back up for a quick fadeaway that dropped in, preventing a second extra period and giving the Hawks their 12th win of the season. The final play was just the cherry on top for what was a very impressive night for Al as he finished with 34 points and 15 rebounds.
The Hawks head to New York next, then will host the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz next week.