Quick Thought: Four. Overtimes. Much easier to watch win the end result is a win.
Take a long look, fellow Bird Watchers, because this kind of gameflow likely won't be seen again for another 30 years.
For a team already grinding, already wounded and most certainly already tired, the last thing they likely would have wanted is to play an additional 20 minutes of game time on the last game of the back-back-back. Still, one has to assume that the only thing they would have wanted less was a loss.
You can make that assumption because a number of times after the Hawks had torched a decent first half advantage (15 point lead) and the Jazz had moved ahead and had all the momentum, Atlanta could have thrown in their considerably sweat-soaked towels, but they didn't.
Joe Johnson, who made my legs hurt watching him try to elevate for shots late in his 55 minute effort, still conjured enough to make the ones they absolutely had to have, scoring 37 points on his 14-28 shooting night.
Despite being tired, the Hawks did the right thing and at times poured themselves onto the free throw line, shooting 37-47 from there, a much needed source for easier points considering the team seemed to miss 20-30 jump shots in a row at one point.
Adding to the challenge of getting a win, Josh Smith fouled out in the first overtime, leaving an already wobbly defensive rebounding team without their best one, allowing for some painful second chance hoops for the visiting Jazz.
Zaza Pachulia did his best to keep the peace on the glass, grabbing a career high 20, eight of which came in the extra sessions.
Jeff Teague was big as the legs got heavy, scoring 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and beyond. Teague also used his 53 minutes to accumulate seven rebounds and nine assists as well.
Everybody gets one for the team. Incredible, hard fought, though they had lost it a dozen times win where everybody seemed to do something to keep things alive.
It was the first quad overtime game for the Hawks since 1982, when the Hawks beat the Sonics in Seattle. Your starting lineup for that game:
G- Fast Eddie Johnson
G- Rory Sparrow
C- Tree Rollins
F- John Drew
F- Tom McMillen
It was the first 4-OT game in the NBA since 1997.
I can think of no game that typifies this team this season more than this one. All the attributes were there, including ultimately getting the win -- whew.