The Hawks entered Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards with only 9 healthy bodies and quickly fell behind 31-14 after just 12 minutes. However, they did anything but roll over and die, cutting the once vast lead to just 1 in the second half, but in the end, the Wizards pulled away to hand the Hawks a 114-97 defeat.
The front-court duo of Elton Brand and Paul Millsap led the way in all facets for Atlanta, and it was a big-time effort despite high demand on both players. Brand surpassed his season-high with 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Millsap was extremely productive in his own right with 21 points (despite an uneven 7-for-18 shooting night) and 11 rebounds of his own.
Jeff Teague produced a nice bounce-back effort that included 16 points (all of which came in the 2nd and 3rd quarters) and 5 assists in 30 minutes, but with just under 4 minutes remaining in the 4th, the Hawks point guard hobbled to the locker room with an apparent ankle injury. It is unknown at this point as to how severe of an injury that Teague suffered, but with the roster already in severe peril, Atlanta can certainly not afford another loss of a high-profile player.
Kyle Korver kept his now-legendary streak of consecutive games (now at 122 in a row) with a 3-pointer alive in the mid-stages of the 2nd quarter, and while it was a light day in terms of attempts (only 5), he was quite effective on both ends. Speaking of three-pointers, however, the Atlanta defense surrendered 13 to Washington on just 24 attempts, and while the pregame defensive attention was placed on the interior, a possible overcompensation allowed for several open jump shots for the visiting team.
On paper, the final score doesn't necessarily indicate that the Hawks battled valiantly in this game, but with just over 7 minutes remaining, they trailed only 96-91, and while the final score was lopsided, it was more of an exhaustion of the tank in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, Atlanta has yet another back-to-back over the weekend with games against Detroit on the road and New York at home, but hopefully, some relief is on the way in the form of additional healthy bodies.