-Hawks own a 5-1 record at Philips Arena this season, the second-best home mark in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is undefeated at home (4-0) against Eastern Conference opponents.
–Paul Millsap is the only player in the NBA this year averaging at least 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.
-Over the last 5 games, Al Horford is shooting .705 FG% (31-44), hitting at least .580 from the field in each contest.
Today’s contest saw the Atlanta Hawks against the #1 team in the East, the Toronto Raptors. With the Hawks at #4 and holding an undefeated record at home against Eastern Conference foes, fans were hopeful the Hawks could chip away at their 1st place lead.
The 1st Quarter can be summed up in two words: DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan went off in the 1st shooting 100% overall. That means FG shooting, 3PT shooting, and free throws, perfection from everywhere. He totaled 14 points to end the Quarter.
The Hawks’ response to the Raptor’s dominant 1st Quarter was Jeff Teague. Teague echoed DeRozan’s achievements shooting 100% in FG, 3PT shooting, and free throws as well as totaling 14 points. Whenever the Raptor’s lead started to grow, the Hawks kicked the ball to their outside threat Kyle Korver. Korver made three 3PT attempts to keep the Hawks in the game and totaled 9 points for the Quarter. With the help of Teague and Korver the Hawks were only down by 3 points to end the 1st Half 64-61.
The Hawks gave their best effort to keep the momentum and the boost came from Al Horford. Horford went 5/5 in shooting and scored 10 points. But Horford’s efforts were not enough, as the Raptors ran away with the game in the 4th Quarter.
Greivis Vasquez scored 12 points for the visitors to push their lead and seal the game 126-115. DeMar DeRozan led the away team with 27 points and shot 100% from the free-throw line. The Raptors had 3 players with 20+ points (DeMar DeRozan, Lou Williams, and Grievis Vasquez) and Kyle Lowry had a double-double with 14 points and 13 assists. Lou Williams, made a tremendous return to his hometown totaling 22 points, 2 assists, and 3 steals. “It was a good win for us. We have a lot of depth, which shows the quality of our basketball team,” Williams said post-game. “I’ve been on some teams where everybody understood what they brought to the table and what it took to beat you. But this is definitely one of the better teams at figuring that out (early).”
Jeff Teague led the Hawks with a double-double, scoring 24 points, 12 assists, and a steal. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the contribution we’ve been used to as of late with Paul Millsap, who scored a paltry 8 points. Al Horford finished with 23 points, DeMarre Carroll had 14, and Dennis Schröder put up 13.
Here’s Al Horford’s account of the game: “They’re a good team. They were getting a lot of good looks, tough shots. The fast break was a big part of it I thought. They outscored us on the break. We didn’t do a good job in the fast break. That was one of the differences.”
He also complimented their bench and had good reason to: “Lou Williams and Vasquez were great. Those guys came out with a lot of energy. They were very confident. They hit some tough shots. We were defending them, but they just made shots.”
Atlanta’s next game is Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Again, the final score was Raptors 126, Hawks 115. Here are a few post-game notes:
-Atlanta score 115 points which is a season-high in points scored in regulation.
–Jeff Teague posted his 34th career point-assist double-double
-The Raptors scored a season-high 126 points and shot .512 from the field.
-The Raptors are 4-0 when they shoot .500 or better from the floor.
–Kyle Lowry tallied his third double-double of the season.