It was another one of those games for the Atlanta Hawks. They dug themselves deep in a hole early in the game and rallied back at some point in the game. This one didn’t result in a win as the Hawks were defeated, 131-117, by the Washington Wizards.
The first quarter went well for the Hawks as John Collins started off with nine points and five rebounds. It was the second quarter that caught them by surprise.
“We were so bad in the second quarter,” Atlanta Head Coach Lloyd Pierce said. “A lot of it had to do with not making shots, a lot of it had to do with mismatches, not giving that third and fourth effort.”
At the end of the first half, the Hawks were shooting 34 percent from the field. Most of their shots were going in and out, while others just weren’t falling. What made the deficit even deeper was their 3-point shooting. The Hawks shot 17 percent from three to end the half. That helped find them down by 23. With the Hawks trying to stop the bleeding, threes were the only way they would get back in the game, but it didn’t work.
Third quarter run
The Hawks found life in the third quarter after trailing by 23 in the first half. Collins and Kent Bazemore started the quarter off with buckets to cut the lead down. Unfortunately, the Wizards found a way to answer every shot. The Hawks would go on mini-runs, but the lead was too big to cut into it. It was late in the third when the Hawks started to really cut in the lead.
“To come out and respond the way we did with 45 points in the third quarter, and just the effort and mentality, I thought our guys really came out and fought,” Pierce said.
DeAndre’ Bembry came in to run the point guard duties and everything changed for the team. Getting fast break opportunities and pressing on defense helped the Hawks bring the lead down to nine to end the quarter.
“Every time we come out here it’s Dre and his energy,” Pierce said. “He’s out pressuring Bradley Beal, he’s fighting through screens, he’s getting steals, he’s attacking the paint and the rim, it’s what he’s done all year.”
Just not enough
The Hawks got the lead down to as much as five in the fourth quarter, and after that, they didn’t have enough to right the ship. Beal took over in the fourth and finished with 36 points as John Wall sat out.
With the way the Hawks almost flipped the game, Bazemore, who also had a hand in tonight’s comeback with 22 points, continues to preach the same thing through the locker room.
“Resilience is the word I’ve used throughout the season and we continue to show that,” Bazemore said. “We just get in trouble when we put so much pressure on our defense, and when shots aren’t falling it wears on you.”
Trae Young has been in a shooting slump recently, and it continued with him shooting 4-of-13 from the field, but coach Pierce said that was one of Young’s better games against the Wizards.
The Hawks next game will be against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
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