From Win No. 2 in the run (Dec. 30 against Cleveland) through Win No. 17 (Jan. 28 against Brooklyn), the Hawks didn't trail in a single fourth quarter.
They trailed in the fourth quarter against Portland on Friday
and inside the final three minutes against lowly Philly on Saturday. They won both, but both were at home. Monday marked the Hawks' first road game since Jan. 17, and the arena across the street from the Superdome saw their counter reset from 19 to zero.
Ah, well. Nobody wins 'em all, and these Hawks won more games in succession than Jordan's Bulls or Russell's Celtics (or anybody's Celtics, for that matter) ever did. They're leading the East by seven games. According to NumberFire by way of ESPN, the Hawks had a 13 percent chance of claiming the conference's top seed before they won 19 straight;
they now have a 97 percent chance of being the No. 1 seed
We might never again see a tear quite like this, which isn't to suggest that the rest will be silence. They've got a significant home date against Washington on Wednesday, and come Friday they'll play host to Golden State, which inched back ahead in the chase for the NBA's best record, in the biggest regular-season game this franchise has known since the days of Dominique. The Hawks lost a game Monday, but they'll win a bunch more before they're through.