At 16-3, the San Antonio Spurs are the best road team in the league. They took their fundamental road clinic to Atlanta on Friday night and rolled all over the Atlanta Hawks 105-79.
The Hawks didn’t have it from the get-go. It took them over four minutes to get on the scoreboard in a first quarter where they were outscored 27-14 and trailed 55-34 at the half. However, things would only get worse for the Hawks in the first half. Point guard, Jeff Teague would go down with an ankle sprain at the 4:50 mark of the second quarter and would not return. Already short handed without leading scorer Al Horford (torn pectoral muscle), his replacement Pero Antic (stress fracture in ankle) and starting small forward DeMarre Carroll (strained hamstring.) The Hawks didn’t have too many able bodies to throw at the Spurs this evening.
Despite being without the services of Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard the Spurs had it all going this evening. The Spurs shot 41-84 48.8% from the field. Tim Duncan, who scored 23 points and had 21 rebounds, including the game winning shot in the two teams’ last meeting, was outstanding again tonight. Duncan got the Spurs going early scoring the teams first six points and had 17 points and 16 rebounds in just 27 minutes.
A huge disparity in the box score was from beyond the arc. The Spurs would shoot a staggering 61% (11-18) from three point land, while the Hawks would struggle mightily, shooting 2-13 from behind the arc. Although the Spurs are leading the league in 3-point field goal percentage, it wasn’t their usual suspects who were lighting the world on fire form three. Marco Belinelli, who is leading the league in 3-point percentage, didn’t attempt a three and only had one point on the evening, and only one Spurs started even attempted a three pointer. But the bench was 11-17 from three point land. Patty Mills had 18 points on 6-8 from beyond the arc and Boris Diaw was 3-4 from three and 8-10 from the field, adding 21 points off the bench.
One of the two 3-point baskets was, however, from sharpshooter Kyle Korver. Korver extended his NBA record-breaking consecutive games with a 3-pointer made to 111. Korver was extremely quiet however, shooting just 1-3 from the field this evening, and scoring just three points.
Korver extending his streak may be the lone bright spot to take away from this one, Paul Milsap had 15 points, but it took him 17 shots to get there. The Hawks were once again careless with the basketball, turning itl over 19 times. Teague had nine points on 4-7 shooting, but would not return after the ankle injury.
The Spurs improved to 32-10 while the Hawks fell to 22-20. Atlanta won’t have much time to lick its wounds, getting right back on the horse tomorrow against their former head coach Larry Drew, and the Milwaukee Bucks.