When the schedule was released months ago, March 23 always felt like an uphill battle for the Atlanta Hawks. Even with the Golden State Warriors short-handed with injuries up and down the roster, that proved to be the case, as the Hawks fell by a final score of 106-94.
The evening began with offensive issues on both sides but the Hawks were able to secure an early lead. In fact, much of Atlanta’s offense in the first quarter was highlight driven, including a beautiful lob dunk by Dewayne Dedmon.
Shortly thereafter, John Collins returned from injury with a vengeance.
John Collins looks healthy. pic.twitter.com/qAXXUh0P7l— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2018
In a bit of a scary moment, Collins was later pushed to the locker room after apparently re-injuring his ankle but, after a re-taping by the medical staff, he returned to action. In short, he looked just fine.
THERE HAVE BEEN LOBS TONIGHT pic.twitter.com/HnWJ5ij1Ua— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 24, 2018
The first quarter finished with an ugly 18-16 score and that coincided with hideous shooting from both teams. Things did heat up in the second, though, especially on the Atlanta side.
The Hawks began the second quarter on a 15-4 run to claim a double-digit lead and, with some help from Collins’ return from the locker room, Atlanta pushed the margin to 15. The Warriors would respond in kind with ten straight points but the road team managed to take an eight-point advantage to the halftime break, based largely on quality defensive numbers.
The second half was not as kind, however, and it began right away. Golden State scored the first five points of the third period and, after a four-point play from Stephen Curry with 3:30 left in the quarter, the Warriors held the lead for the first time since it was 8-6.
However, Curry was forced to the sideline with a left knee ailment and the Hawks flashed signs of a comeback bid. Atlanta knocked down three consecutive triples at one point to climb within four and, even despite an ankle tweak to Dennis Schroder (who returned to the game later), the Hawks didn’t fade.
The Warriors were able to hold off the charge from Atlanta but, if anything, it was actually an impressive showing from the visitors. The Hawks defended with good effort throughout and, while shots didn’t always fall, the final 12-point margin was not indicative of the game flow.
After this defeat, the Hawks will be traveling to Houston, where they will take on the Rockets on Sunday evening. Stay tuned.