Hawks vs. Spurs: Shorthanded Atlanta falls in San Antonio 99-97

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks went into San Antonio shorthanded and turned in a spirited effort in a 99-97 loss to the Spurs.

The Atlanta Hawks traveled to San Antonio Saturday night battered and bruised but came up with a solid effort in a 99-97 loss. The Hawks played without Al Horford, Josh Smith, Devin Harris and Kyle Korver but will not get any sympathy from the Spurs who were without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. In the end there was just too much Tim Duncan for Atlanta to overcome as the veteran finished with 31 points and 14 rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

Still it would have been easy for the Hawks to have just mailed in the effort on this one without Smith and Horford. Instead they got stellar performances from both of their rookies to make things interesting against the Spurs. Atlanta trailed 51-40 at the half but began the third with an 11-3 run. San Antonio would answer but were never able to put the Hawks away completely.

John Jenkins returned from a concussion to lead the way for the Hawks with 23 points on 7-9 shooting including 3-3 from beyond-the-arc. Mike Scott added 22 points to go along with six rebounds. Ivan Johnson finished with 14 while Shelvin Mack pitched in 12 points and eight assists off the bench. Johan Petro got the start for Horford and finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Duncan's 31 points paced the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard added 23. Dejuan Blair cashed in 11 points off the bench.

Atlanta has four games remaining and is off until Wednesday when they travel to Philadelphia for the final matchup of the season with the 76ers. The Hawks have lost three straight and have settled into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

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