The depleted Atlanta Hawks stroll into a thunderstorm tonight in Oklahoma City as Kevin Durant is in the midst of his most dominate streak of his young career.
KD has scored 30 or more points in 10 straight games, dropped a career-high 54 points last week against the Warriors, and most recently messed around and got a triple-double on Saturday in Philadelphia. He’s also helped the Thunder achieve a seven-game winning-streak, the team’s third longest streak of the season.
The Hawks, on the other hand, have just been trying to tread water with the rash of injuries to the team lately. Al Horford has already been lost for the season, replacement center Pero Antic suffered a stress fracture last week and was said to be sidelined foe the following 2-4 weeks, backup shooting guard John Jenkins hasn’t played since December 26 because of nerve pain in his legs, and now Jeff Teague has missed two straight games (including tonight) with a sprained left ankle.
Shelvin Mack will start in place of Teague again at point guard for Atlanta, while Gustavo Ayon mans the center position. They’ll be joined by the usual cast of Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap in the starting lineup tonight.
Millsap has been playing great lately for the Hawks and was just named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week – his first ever Player of the Week award. Over the last four games, in which Atlanta went 3-1, he’s averaged 21.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks in 31 minutes per game, while posting a .508 FG%, and a .815 FT%.