The Hawks (5-16) overcame a slow start to get a much-needed win Monday at State Farm Arena, taking down the struggling Warriors 104-79.
Below are some takeaways from the win:
1. It wasn’t the prettiest, but the Hawks snapped their 10-game losing streak, capitalizing on facing an extra shorthanded Warriors team. This matchup featured the team that entered the game tied with the Knicks for last in the Eastern Conference and the team dead last in the Western Conference, each coming in with four wins.
The Hawks (who now move a step above the Knicks in the standings) may have been missing two key pieces, with no John Collins (league suspension) or Kevin Huerter (left rotator cuff strain), but with no Steph Curry (fractured left wrist), Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab), Draymond Green (right heel soreness) and D’Angelo Russell (sprained right thumb), to name a few, the Warriors have been decimated by injuries and are a shell of their former selves.
“I don’t know if it’s a momentum builder, it’s just good to get off the other side of the momentum,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “We’d like to get a streak going the other way, but I think more than anything, just to get that part out of it and settle back in and see if we can get some guys healthy… The word I’ll use tonight is spirit, get our spirit back, the competitive spirit, the confidence and the togetherness.”
2. Two days after giving up 81 points to the Rockets in the first half, the Hawks held the Warriors to 79 points total. Granted, there’s a huge talent gap between those two opponents. But the Hawks forced 23 turnovers (committing 14 themselves) and held the Warriors to a 39.9 field goal percentage, limiting them to 17.6 percent from 3-point range (3 of 17).
After a slow first quarter, the Hawks (who shot 46.1 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from 3-point range) went on a 12-2 run to take the lead in the second and limited the Warriors to 13 points in the third quarter, entering the fourth with a 76-53 lead.
“We didn’t have a clean game, we didn’t shoot extremely well, but we created some easy opportunities and that’s because of our defense,” Pierce said.
3. Already shorthanded, the Hawks’ health took another hit in the fourth quarter when rookie De’Andre Hunter headed back to the locker room clutching his right hand and did not return to the game. Hunter dislocated his right index finger, though X-rays were negative, so there was no fracture.
Pierce said postgame that Hunter’s injury didn’t sound like anything serious. Hunter added that he’s not sure if he will be able to play in Wednesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, and that he will know more Tuesday. Before leaving the game, Hunter recorded 18 points and four rebounds (Trae Young led the Hawks in scoring with 24 points, to go with seven assists).
4. Since their west coast road trip began in Portland Nov. 10, the Hawks have struggled through a particularly tough stretch of their schedule, which included blowout losses to the Clippers, Lakers and Rockets, some of the toughest teams in the west. Fortunately for the Hawks, their schedule eases up a bit, hosting the Nets (10-10) Wednesday, with three days off before playing in Charlotte (8-14) Sunday.
5. Playing against his old team, center Damian Jones registered a career-high 16 points and tied his career high with eight rebounds. Jones entered the game averaging 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
“You always like to see a guy go against his former team and come out and play well and I thought it was good to see Damian’s performance tonight… But I thought his defense in the first half particularly, he was a presence around the rim, he altered a few shots and he got obviously a couple easy baskets around the rim as well,” Pierce said.
By the Numbers
13 (Number of steals by the Hawks in the victory)
“We played hard tonight. We played with a lot of energy, fed off each other’s energy and I think that’s a big reason why we won, so if we continue to do that, we’ll be alright.” (Young on how the Hawks build off this win)
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