The Atlanta Hawks' struggles continued Wednesday night as they suffer their third consecutive loss 113-84 to the Houston Rockets. Houston never trailed in the game and got a huge lift from their bench after injuries to James Harden and Jeremy Lin took them out of the lineup.
The Hawks came out sluggishly and quickly fell behind 30-19 after one. Atlanta found its footing in the second behind some hot shooting from Cartier Martin who buried four three-pointers in the second quarter. Atlanta closed within three of the Rockets with a 17-6 run in the second but the Rockets answered and led 56-45 at the half.
Atlanta again was able to hang around in the third and made another run at the lead. Martin cut the lead to 65-60 with 5:32 remaining in the third but again Houston answered with a run of its own to push the lead back 10 by the end of the period.
The wheels came off for the Hawks in the fourth as Houston's bench led by Aaron Brooks flexed its muscles. Brooks scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth as the Rockets outscored Atlanta 36-17 to cruise to a lopsided win.
Houston got 67 points from its bench led by Brooks and Francisco Garcia who finished with 21 points each. Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones finished with 14 apiece while Dwight Howard and Omer Asik also were in double figures with 11 and 10 respectively.
Paul Millsap led Atlanta with 16 points while Martin and Al Horford added 14 each. John Jenkins added 13 points off the bench including 3-6 shooting from beyond-the-arc. Jeff Teague finished with just four points and six assists and did not make a shot from the field going 0-5. Atlanta drops to 1-6 on the season when Teague scores 15 or less points.
Atlanta did a good job of hanging around through three quarters but the reality was that they never really had a chance given the number of looks the Rockets were getting on the offensive end of the floor. Houston's final stats are obscured slightly by their lopsided fourth but they were above 50 percent shooting for the entire game and finished 14-27 from three-point range.
Atlanta will look to get back on track on Friday when they open yet another back-to-back with a home game against the Dallas Mavericks.