Hawks blown apart in third quarter

Friday’s third quarter was not, by a point, the Hawks’ least productive of the season. It was, perhaps without question, their worst.

The Raptors took control with a 28-13 scoring edge where those numbers where the heart of a 105-80 Atlanta loss whose entire body was listless.

Before the game, Toronto (37-17) was the only team to beat the Hawks (43-12) twice this season. Do some math: twenty five percent of Atlanta's losses have come to the team north of the border.

The Hawks were worse than their math in the third period, and the numbers were south of awful.

On a night when they made a season-low 33 percent of their shots (29-of-88), the Hawks made just 3-of-19 in the third quarter, and had five shots blocked in the period while turning it over nine times.

Atlanta sent four players to New York City; none were All-Stars in the first game back.

“There’s lots of easy excuses, you know, put it on the [All-Star] break and a lot of things going on, but we should play better as a group,” Korver said after missing all five of his shots in the third quarter to finish 3-of-13 from the field, and 2-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“The third quarter was rough … It was a microcosm of the whole game.”

The visual images were more shocking than the stats as Toronto expanded a 49-45 halftime lead to 77-58.

Korver also committed two turnovers in the third quarter as did fellow starter Teague (also an All-Star) and starting forward DeMarre Carroll.

This was bizarro world.

Early in the quarter, a Paul Millsap steal lead to a point-blank shot by Carroll that was blocked by James Johnson. Millsap rebounded, only to be blocked by Jonas Valanciunas. Moments later, Millsap blocked Amir Johnson at the other end.

A couple minutes after that, the Hawks went 10 consecutive possessions where they turned the ball over five times, had two shots blocked, made one shot, missed three others and missed 1-of-2 free throws.

Atlanta blocked five shots in the quarter as well, but when the Hawks didn’t swat shots or pull in Toronto’s four turnovers in the period, the Raptors made 12-of-26 shots, including 3-of-6 3 pointers.

“It was a combination … Their defense was good tonight, and we weren’t sharp,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. “The blocked shots, I think we kind of forced it.”

Carroll said, “You’ve got to give them credit, they came out aggressive. The other four starters [have] had a lot going on. We just got to get back in the lab … “

After the Bunsen burners blew up and the beakers shattered, the Hawks are eager to don their lab jackets before playing Sunday at Milawaukee. They’ve lost four of seven.

“I don’t think we ever got in a rhythm, personally or as a team,” Korver said. “It’s been a wild last few days. I do like rhythm. I was talking to my wife today about that, but we’ll get back into it.”