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Hawks give way to Warriors in fifth straight loss, 110-103

A competitive effort in Oakland.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday was very weird for the Golden State Warriors, with all kinds of reporting centering on a Monday night altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. In the end, the pre-game result was a one-game suspension (without pay) for Green to be served during Tuesday’s game and, as a result, the Atlanta Hawks squared off against an elite team missing half of the devastating four-man core. When the game finally arrived, things were competitive throughout but, in the end, it was the Warriors holding serve at home and the Hawks dropping a fifth straight decision by a final score of 110-103.

The night began in sluggish fashion on both sides, with Atlanta scoring only two points in the first three-plus minutes and missed shots all around. The Warriors opened 1 of 8 from the floor, with the Hawks opening 3 of 11 in their own right, but offensive flourishes would soon arrive.

In fact, the first half was marked by a flurry of runs on both sides, beginning with a 7-0 spurt from the home team to take an early lead. Vince Carter responded to that binge with back-to-back threes to retake the advantage but the Warriors kept coming, later scoring eight straight points to claim a seven-point lead.

From there, however, it was all Hawks for an extended period, as the visitors finished the first quarter on a 10-0 run that was capped by a banked-in three from Kent Bazemore. That thrusted Atlanta into the lead and, with three points to open in the second quarter, the Hawks scored 13 straight.

Seemingly on cue, the Warriors then rattled off a 13-2 run to restore order and, for the rest of the half, things were back and forth. At one point, Atlanta scored on five straight possessions but, with only a few stops, Lloyd Pierce’s team was unable to pull away, although the Hawks did manage to take a three-point lead into the halftime break.

Before halftime, there were plenty of highlight-worthy moments, including the first bucket of the game that actually served as the only positive offensive display in the opening minutes.

As noted above, Carter’s back-to-back threes were pivotal and the veteran contributed in a big way before halftime.

The 13-0 run across two quarters was capped by a beautiful play involving Jeremy Lin and DeAndre’ Bembry.

At the half, Carter and Taurean Prince led the way with 11 points each, with Trae Young providing steady value across the board to the tune of four points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Defense was the calling card for Atlanta, though, as the Hawks held the Warriors in check and, aside from 15 points from Kevin Durant, there wasn’t much in the way of damage from the reigning champs.

As the scoreboard flipped to the third quarter, things began in relatively positive fashion, including a nice find from Young to Alex Len.

The rest of the period was not ideal for the Hawks, including a disastrous stretch in the middle portion. Atlanta took a five-point lead but, in a hurry, the Warriors zoomed to a 17-2 run that gave the home team a ten-point advantage.

The Hawks scored only two points in four-plus minutes to facilitate the spurt but, in the latter stages of the period, Bembry did provide some fireworks in a positive direction.

With a beautiful steal and dunk followed by a three at the end of the quarter, Bembry helped the Hawks stay within striking distance with only a six-point deficit as the fourth quarter arrived. Later, he even delivered a nice pass for an easy bucket.

Still, another run felt inevitable for the Warriors and it arrived during the closing period. Golden State outscored Atlanta by a 15-6 margin over a short stint and, with 7:55 remaining, the Hawks trailed by a 15-point margin. While it seemed as if the game might be essentially over at that stage, the Hawks did have another run in them, as Lin engineered a push (including five straight points) to get things back within single-digits.

In fact, the visitors climbed within only a five-point margin with 1:43 remaining, providing some legitimate drama to the proceedings. Still, Atlanta could not bring the comeback over the top and, when Durant converted a mid-range jumper with 43.5 seconds remaining to push the margin back to seven, the drama evaporated.

In the loss, six members of the Hawks reached double figures, with Prince scoring a team-high 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting and 4 of 7 from three. Bazemore added 18 points in support and, off the bench, Bembry (13 points, three steals), Carter (11 points, six rebounds) and Lin (10 points, four assists) produced well.

Following this contest, the Hawks will have an off day (for travel) on Wednesday before taking on Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in Denver on Thursday evening. Stay tuned.