Steph Curry, Warriors dominate second half to take down Hawks

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO — With an unstoppable performance from Steph Curry, the Hawks (4-7) fell to the Warriors, 127-113, at Golden State Monday.

Next up, the Hawks continue their West Coast road trip in Utah Tuesday.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. Curry simply dominated in this game, particularly the second half, and the Hawks could do nothing to stop him once he started heating up. Curry finished with 50 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds on an excellent shooting performance: 14-for-28 field goals, 9-for-19 from 3-point range, 13-13 free throws.

2. In losses to Brooklyn, Utah and Phoenix, Atlanta has struggled to maintain leads and composure in the second half, often allowing officiating to be a distraction. Despite a strong start, the Hawks went down a similar path in Golden State and have now lost four games in a row and six of their last seven games. In the third quarter, Curry found an open Jordan Poole for a layup to tie it, 75-75, while Bogdan Bogdanovic argued a call. The game turned sharply in the third, which the Warriors won, 41-20, with the Hawks unable to curtail Curry or get much going on the other end.

Hawks coach Nate McMillan said he didn’t see a sense of urgency on defense in the second half: “I can’t explain that. There shouldn’t be a lack of urgency. We talk about good starts, strong finish, and we’re not finishing strong. The streak that we’ve lost this game, the second half has just been, really, breakdowns, not executing, and not finishing.”

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan watches from the sideline during the first half of his team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

3. Entering Monday’s game, the Hawks were averaging 30.4 3-point attempts per game (28th in the league), with 10.5 makes (25th). They nearly had that may 3′s by halftime, with nine on 23 attempts (39.1%). Shot selection, and getting more attempts from 3-point range or at the rim has been a focus lately, and that success helped the Hawks take a 15-point lead with 3:59 to go in the second quarter. As Curry got hot, though, he helped whittle Atlanta’s lead down to four at halftime, 65-61. Overall, the Hawks went 17-for-43 (39.5%) from beyond the arc to the Warriors’ 18-for-44 (40.9%). Although the Warriors (8-1) were without Klay Thompson (right Achilles tendon injury recovery), James Wiseman (right knee injury recovery) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot injury management), the top team in the west is mostly at full strength, though they were on the second night of a back-to-back.

4. John Collins and Trae Young led the Hawks on offense. Efficient and dynamic, Collins continued his impressive start to the season, though he wasn’t featured much in the third quarter (and went scoreless) as the game got away from the Hawks. He finished with 19 points (6-for-7 FG, 2-for-3 from 3, 5-for-6 FT) and six rebounds. Young led the Hawks with 28 points and nine assists.

“We know we’ve been here before,” Young said of the Hawks’ four-game slide and 4-7 start. “We’ve been in a worse spot before. And this is a tough stretch. We’re playing some tough teams... We’ve just got to keep playing. It’s a long season. Teams go on five-game winning streaks, teams go on five game losing streaks. It’s a long season and you can never get too high or too low at any part. Because, we were 14-20 last year and we ended up the fifth seed. We’re not even at that spot yet. We’ve got a long ways to go, and we’ve got some time, but we’ve got to figure it out.”

5. Delon Wright got minutes at backup point guard after mostly being out of the rotation lately, having played three minutes of garbage time in the loss to Utah Thursday, 12 minutes in the win against Washington Monday and five minutes of garbage time in the loss to Philly Oct. 30. He finished with seven points, five rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes. Lou Williams has been the go-to backup point guard the past few games and is averaging 5.1 points and 1.1 assists this season, struggling from 3-point range (20%) to start the season.

Stat of the game: 50 (what Curry scored as he took over the game)

Star of the game: Curry (led the Warriors with 50 points, plus 10 assists for a double-double, turning the tide of the game in the third quarter)

Quotable: “It’s everybody, from top to bottom, from coaching staff to the last person on the bench, we’ve got to be better. Game-planning, everything. The fact that Steph got that many open looks is crazy. He’s the best shooter of all time. He got going and that was the big difference in the game.” (Young on what has gone wrong for the Hawks the past few games)