Hawks vs. Wizards - Recap
The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Washington Wizards 93-83 on the road. This was the second game of a back-to-back set for the Hawks. This was also the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between these two teams. With the loss, the Hawks dropped to 21-15 on the season, 3-1 in the regular season series with the Wizards, and 1-1 in their back-to-back set. The starters for the Hawks were Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, and Kyle Korver in the backcourt, and Josh Smith and Al Horford in the frontcourt. Anthony Morrow (sore lower back) did not dress. Johan Petro, Mike Scott, and Anthony Tolliver received DNP-CDs. The leading scorer for the Hawks was Jeff Teague, with a game-high 19 points. Al Horford added a double-double, with 16 points and 12 boards. Josh Smith contributed 11 points and eight rebounds. The Wizards were lead by Bradley Beal and A.J. Price, who had 16 points apiece. In the first quarter, the Hawks scored the first buckets of the game, but the Wizards soon went on a 9-0 run, and they lead the Hawks 27-17 after one. It was the ninth straight road game in which the Hawks surrendered 25+ points in the first quarter of play. If you play NBA Challenge, if one of the questions is "How many points will [Hawks' opponent] score in the first quarter?", and your choices are "18+" or "less than 18", I would advise the first choice until the Hawks get their first quarter defensive act together. In the second quarter, the Hawks did go on their own 9-0 run, but the Wizards still led by one at the break. In the third quarter, the Wizards held the Hawks to just 16 points, and the Hawks trailed 73-66 heading into the final frame. The Hawks cut their deficit within five in the fourth, but not soon after, Coach Randy Wittman re-inserted John Wall into the game, and he sparked the Wizards to extend their lead to 10 as the final buzzer sounded. I think the key reason the Hawks lost was points in the paint. The Wizards are dead-last in the NBA in points in the paint per game. The Hawks were outscored 46-22 in the paint! Yes, the Wizards are second in the NBA in least points allowed in the paint per game, but they still allow 36.9 per game. The Hawks (who, let me remind you, have two potential All-Stars in their frontcourt) were held to 15 under that number. The Hawks have to get better at both protecting and attacking the paint. Tough loss for the Hawks against the division-rival Wizards.