Heading into the game without two of their key contributors in Pero Antic and DeMarre Carroll, there was still a shade of optimism for this one, given that the game was at home in Philips Arena, but those positive thoughts came to a grinding halt early in the game. The Spurs sprinted to a 27-14 advantage in the first 12 minutes, thanks to 9 turnovers and 30% from the Hawks in the opening frame, and by the time halftime arrived, San Antonio held a 21-point lead that they would never think about relinquishing.
There were many lowlights in this game, ranging from tepid (to be kind) on-court play to lackluster energy (copyright, Larry Drew), but in the midst of that, the single worst outcome of the game was yet another injury for the Hawks. Starting point guard Jeff Teague left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury, and he wouldn't return, leaving his status very much up in the air as Atlanta moves toward a road back-to-back against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
On the plus side, Kyle Korver kept his 3-point streak alive (on his first attempt of the night, no less), and Paul Millsap turned in a workmanlike effort with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks, but in the end, there wasn't a lot in the way of fruitful outcomes to go around. For further evidence, the 79-point effort doubled as the season-low for the team, and with the previous mark sitting at 83 points against Houston on January 10th, it wasn't particularly close despite the late push toward the 80-point plateau.
The Spurs were led (as usual) by Tim Duncan, who finished with 17 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks (in just 27 minutes), and he was supported in a significant way by the San Antonio bench, highlighted by Patty Mills (18 points on 6 threes) and old friend Boris Diaw (21 points, 5 rebounds).
There will be better days in Philips Arena, but this may have been the low point of the 2013-2014 thus far.