ATLANTA — If there was ever a time to do it, Monday’s matchup in opposition to the Golden State Warriors introduced the Atlanta Hawks a great opportunity to snap a double-digit dropping streak — they usually did not miss their probability.
“It wasn’t fairly, however we’ll take it,” coach Lloyd Pierce stated. “It feels so much higher coming in right here than the final 10 video games.”
Behind 24 factors and seven assists from Trae Younger, the Hawks dominated the skeleton Warriors 104-79, choosing up their first win since Nov. 12.
“It feels good, clearly, profitable,” Younger stated. “I have not gained in a very long time, which isn’t an excellent feeling. So any time you get a win it feels good, so we’re all blissful however clearly we have got a protracted technique to go.”
The Warriors, alternatively, now sit alone with the worst file within the league at Four-18, having misplaced six of their final seven.
“I assumed we have been enjoying for ourselves on the market, as an alternative of enjoying for one another,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated. “We have been making an attempt to dribble although visitors as an alternative of transferring the ball. All people was making an attempt to make a play, as an alternative of letting the subsequent man make the play, and we simply obtained annoyed. We did not have any form of rhythm or movement to the sport.”
Towards the second-worst protection within the NBA, the Warriors scored simply 79 factors (tied for second fewest underneath Kerr), turned it over 25 instances and shot Three-of-17 from Three, tied for the fewest made 3s underneath Kerr.
“It is not straightforward for anyone to lose, particularly provided that our group has fought actually onerous by the primary quarter of the season and had some actually troublesome, shut losses,” Kerr stated. “It wears on you, and also you need these efforts to be rewarded. You need to hold the religion, and also you simply need to hold combating, and that is my job to maintain their spirits up and switch it round.”
It is considerably of two differing mindsets, although, with the Hawks making an attempt to develop a younger group right into a playoff-caliber group, whereas the Warriors have endured an nearly comical string of accidents. The Hawks aren’t considering dropping, whereas the Warriors can make the most of an injury-plagued yr with the upside of a excessive draft choose.
Regardless of an apparent alternative to win over the battered Warriors, Pierce stated the Hawks did not prioritize Monday’s sport. And he is additionally making an attempt to ensure the end result is stored in context as nicely, noting typically who the Warriors did not have enjoying.
“I do not know if it is a momentum builder,” he stated, “nevertheless it’s simply good to get off the opposite aspect of the momentum.”
Coming off a deflating highway journey that featured two shut losses to prime degree Japanese Convention groups after which a 47-point thrashing by the Houston Rockets, the Hawks stored preaching constructive vitality and funding. At Monday morning’s shootaround, the spirit was evident, with the group gathering round midcourt because the rookies sang blissful birthday to De’Andre Hunter.
After the win over the Warriors, the locker room was filled with enjoyable, with jokes about Cam Reddish’s missed dunk, Hunter being in ache due to a (apparently non-serious) finger harm and DeAndre’ Bembry grabbing two rebounds late within the sport from Damian Jones, which prevented a double-double in opposition to his former group.
“If you’re on a 10-game dropping streak, it is onerous to speak,” Pierce stated. “You do not need to offend anybody, everybody’s pissed off. So to simply have the ability to make enjoyable of one another is an enormous a part of it.”
The Hawks began the season 2-Zero, exhibiting early indicators of progress from final season’s robust end. They have been Three-Three on Nov. 5 when ahead John Collins, their second-leading scorer, was suspended by the league 25 video games for violating the phrases of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Since then, with different accidents on prime of it (Kevin Huerter, Allen Crabbe), they’re Three-13.
“We simply handed the quarter mark of the season, so the factor about me is I perceive it is a lengthy season,” Younger stated. “You possibly can have a foul begin and end off robust, and the identical vice versa. It is a lengthy season, and you have to proceed to get higher and hopefully we are able to flip it round.”