Last night, the Atlanta Hawks did something that hadn’t been done since the late-90s by beating the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio. With the win, the Hawks are beginning to build some momentum.
Coming off a win against the Phoenix Suns, the Atlanta Hawks had an uphill battle to make it two in a row with a game in San Antonio. Not only were the Spurs surging back in the Western Conference playoff picture, the Hawks hadn’t won in San Antonio since 1997. The Hawks have players on their roster who weren’t born in 1997. Tim Duncan hadn’t been drafted by the Spurs yet.
The Hawks came out hot in the first half. An onslaught of three-pointers kept the Hawks in control in the first half. In the first quarter, the Spurs kept the game close, but the Hawks finished the first quarter leading 29-27.
The Hawks continued to stay in control in the second quarter. The team continued to extend their lead with three-pointers and good play from the starting five, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter. Going into halftime, the Hawks led the game 67-58.
Coming out of the half, the Spurs came out on fire. The Hawks were sluggish and shots weren’t dropping nearly as much as the first half. The Spurs took back the lead by outscoring the Hawks 41-21 in the third quarter. The Hawks were down 11 going in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks had an amazing fourth quarter. So many times this season, the Hawks have lost leads in the third quarter to never regain it. It’s to be expected when a team is so young and learning how to win in the NBA. A lack of shooting and bad defense has doomed the Hawks most of the season. Last night, against the Spurs, the Hawks had their best defensive performance of the season.
After losing their lead in the third quarter, the Hawks fought and clawed back to make the game competitive as time dwindled. With three minutes left in the game, the Hawks cut the Spurs lead to only three points. The Spurs would give themselves a little cushion when they extended the lead back to 7 at 118-111.
Trae Young hit a long three to make the score 118-114. Patty Mills would make a layup to stretch the Spurs lead to 6 points. Trae scored four points, hitting two free throws and hitting a short jumper, to make the score 120-118.
DeMar DeRozan would try to put the game away but missed. Jakob Poeltl got DeRozan’s miss but missed his putback attempt. The Hawks got the ball back with a chance to tie or win the game. Kevin Huerter went for the win, shooting the three and hitting it. The Hawks took the lead, 121-120, and would win the game with that final score.
It was an incredible performance from the Hawks. With the win, the Hawks make it two in a row and start to build some momentum going in the second half of the season. Last night’s game was easily the best team defensive performance all season. While the Hawks will enjoy the win, the team will have little time to celebrate. The Hawks will return to Atlanta to face the Detriot Pistons on Saturday night. Let’s hope the Hawks can build on this positive momentum.