Hawks lose sixth consecutive game (updated)

The woes continue – even as the Hawks nearly erased a 10-point deficit in the final two and half minutes.

Still, it was a loss.

The Hawks dropped their sixth straight game as the comeback fell just short in a 101-97 loss to the Wizards Saturday night at the Verizon Center.

The Wizards built a 10-point lead, 99-89, with 2:36 remaining. The Hawks pulled to within two points, 99-97, on a three-point play by Jeff Teague with 39.8 seconds left. The and-one basket came after John Wall missed two free throws with 44.8 seconds left. After Marcin Gortat missed in close, the Hawks had a chance after Pero Antic corralled the rebound.

After a timeout with 11.1 seconds left, Teague missed a driving layup in traffic. Teague said the drive was the designed play out of the timeout.

“We ran the play for that,” Teague said of his potential game-tying shot. “I just missed it. I just under shot it. I should have made it.”

Drew Gooden got the rebound and was fouled after Teague’s miss. He made two free throws with 7.8 seconds left for the final margin. Paul Millsap missed a 3-pointer and Antic missed off the rebound as time expired on the comeback effort.

“It was a good shot,” coach Mike Budenholzer said of the Teague drive. “I would like to look at it on film. I think our execution was good. I’m curious to look at a couple things having not looked at the film yet but Jeff attacking and Jeff getting to the rim is one of our best opportunities to score and we’ll take that every night.”

The Hawks (31-41) have won just six times in the past 26 games. They must win their remaining 10 regular-season games just to finish at .500. Despite the recent slide, the Hawks hold a 1-1/2 game lead (two in the loss column) over the idle Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Lou Williams was asked about the team’s mindset as they try to hold on for the postseason berth.

“Are we still in the eighth spot?” he asked. “Walah.”

The Hawks, missing two starters in Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll, dropped the season series to the Wizards, 3-1.

Teague led the Hawks with 19 points. The Hawks also got double-digit scoring from Millsap (17 points), Antic (13), Cartier Martin (13) and Williams (12).

The Wizards (38-35) won their second straight after defeating the Pacers at home Friday night. Wall led the Wizards with a game-high 25 points.

The Hawks could not hold a nine-point third-quarter lead. The Wizards used an 11-2 run to end the period and take a 75-71 into the final period. The Hawks managed just two free throws in the final 3:40 and went 0-for-6 from the field during the stretch.

The drought proved to be the difference.

“We’ve been doing that,” Williams said. “I think we played pretty good basketball for three quarters. I think the third quarter hurt us and then we started playing catchup and weren’t able to get the looks.”

The Hawks took a 52-50 lead into halftime. They built a 10-point first-quarter lead, 21-11, by making 7 of 8 shots to start the game.

The game was played on under dangerous conditions on a slippery Verizon Center floor. The Capitals hosted the Bruins in an afternoon start. Several players slipped and fell. The Wizards Bradley Beal hit his face and Trevor Ariza fell with no one around. One Hawk player called the conditions “terrible.”

“The situation with Trevor, I mean he could have torn a groin,” Wall said.

The Hawks host the 76ers Monday night. They will try to take positives from their latest in a string of defeats.

“I think the energy that we played with defensively and offensively back and forth allowed us to compete against a very good team,” Budenholzer said. “I think there are things that we can take from tonight - our activity on both ends and the last couple of nights we’ve been talking about offensively playing with more variety and more pace. I think we are seeing a little bit better execution, a little bit better efficiency. They are very good team. We gave ourselves some chances to win. We weren’t able to get it done.”

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