USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Hawks jumped out to a quick start but were unable to sustain it in a 93-80 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Atlanta Hawks lose for the fifth time in six games after a 93-80 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Atlanta got off to a good start grabbing an 11-1 lead early but it was all Brooklyn the rest of the way as a tiring two week stretch seemed to come crashing down on Atlanta's shoulders.
Brooklyn rebounded from the early deficit to tie the game at 23-23 at the end of the first. The Nets took control of the game in the second where they outscored the Hawks 28-14 and took a 51-37 lead into the half. The lead ballooned to as many as 23 points in the second half before closing the gap during garbage time.
Larry Drew acknowledged his team's lack of energy early in the game and pointed to the difficult schedule combined with arriving from Boston at about 3 a.m. Saturday morning. He was also quick to point out that it wasn't time for excuses as every team is dealing with difficult schedules at this time of the season. Still a long cross country road trip combined with another overtime affair in Boston leaves the Hawks in desperate need of some off days to get their legs back.
Al Horford lead the Hawks with 15 points and 12 rebounds on 7-14 shooting. Josh Smith added 12 points and six boards while Johan Petro scored all of his season-high 10 points in the first quarter. Atlanta hit 42 percent of their shots but were just 5-18 from deep and turned the ball over 17 times leading to 20 points for the Nets.
Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche led the Nets with 18 points each. Deron Williams added 17 points and six assists. Joe Johnson finished with eight points on 4-13 shooting. Brooklyn shot 43 percent for the game and only turned the ball over nine times.
The loss drops the Hawks 2.5 games behind the Nets for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has lost two straight and five of six. They will get two badly needed days off before a back-to-back matchup at Miami on Tuesday and back home against the Lakers on Wednesday.