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Thunder vs Hawks: Atlanta competes, comes up short in loss to OKC

Despite Tuesday's loss the Hawks once again competed to the end and that bodes well for the future.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks once again turned in a good effort but came up short against one of the best teams in the league. I'm not going to celebrate a moral victory because frankly this team has already lost 11 times and we are now past the quarter pole of the season. However, the Hawks were presented with ample opportunities to put their heads between their legs and go away in Tuesday's loss but chose to fight the full 48 minutes. Don't get me wrong, that is their job and what we as fans should expect but also don't pretend that has always been the case around these parts.

Atlanta's starting frontcourt shot just 26 percent in the game. As a team the Hawks shot 36 percent from the field for the game as compared to the Thunder's 44 percent. Given Atlanta's often uneven play from their bench that would normally be the recipe for a blowout. Somehow, the Hawks found a way to hang around and had the lead down to just three points with just over two minutes remaining. Nine made three-pointers certainly helped as did 78 percent shooting from the free throw line on 28 attempts.

The important thing for the Hawks is that they continue to ride this momentum that they have built during this home stand. This loss is like any other, but it becomes that much worse if they lay an egg in two very winnable games over the weekend.

Atlanta hosts Washington on Friday who have lost two straight and are just 3-7 on the road this season. The Wizards already defeated the Hawks in Washington in a prior meeting so Atlanta needs to hold serve at home. They head to New York on Saturday to take on the reeling Knicks who have lost two straight, eight of ten and are just 2-8 at the Garden this season.

The opportunity to bounce back is there. The Hawks have played well enough of late to put together a string of wins or a good stretch of basketball. Now its about going out there and making it happen.