After an extremely sluggish first half of basketball from both teams, the San Antonio Spurs put in a strong showing in the third quarter to get a grip on the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, their old road woes reared their ugly head once again, and an explosive fourth quarter from Atlanta gave them the 108-100 win and dropped the Spurs to 4-3 for the season.
DeMar DeRozan had 22 points for the Spurs on 10-16 shooting, while Trae Young returned from a sprained ankle to lead the Hawks with 29 points (all in the second half) and 13 assists.
- Trey Lyles and Cam Reddish each hit their teams’ first threes of the game. Coming into the night, those two were a combined 1-25 from three for the season (0-7 and 1-18, respectively). Reddish would go on to have a breakout game in that sense, hitting 3-3 on the night. Lyles (who turned 24 today) missed his only other three-point attempt of the game but scored a couple more baskets to tie his season-high of 8 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
- It was good to see Derrick White enter the game looking no worse for wear. Although he was not listed on the Spurs’ injury report, there were questions throughout the day whether he would play after several hard falls in the Lakers game, including an awkward landing after a dunk, taking hard charges from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and a hard foul from Dwight Howard that saw him land flat on his back and tail bone.
- Jabari Parker had five of the Hawks’ six dunks 14 minutes into the game. Although the Spurs otherwise defended relatively well in the first half, the Red Sea of Paint (because the Hawks’ paint is red?) kept parting early. Eventually the defense got the message as the Spurs still ended the half with 8 blocks, 5 of which came from LaMarcus Aldridge.
- Jakob Poeltl picked up two quick fouls in the second quarter, both of which were of the questionable variety. One was on a screen that eliminated a made three by the Spurs, and the other was a missed dunk by DeAndre’ Bembry in which Poeltl made no contact. It was one of those games where neither team really knew how to play because the refs were letting a lot of contact go but still calling light or phantom fouls.
- The entire first half had to be one of the most sluggish halves of basketball ever. Whether it was the Spurs, Hawks, refs or crowd, everyone seemed half asleep in there. DeRozan and Patty Mills were about the only source of energy for the Spurs with 10 points apiece in the half to help spot them a 45-44 lead.
- After a laying a goose egg in the first half (albeit with 8 assists), Young exploded for 13 points in the third quarter, but the Spurs still built their lead up to 78-70 thanks to the starters picking some energy (particularly Aldridge and Lyles) and the bench building off that.
- After another ineffective first half from Marco Belinelli, Lonnie Walker IV got some third quarter burn. Unfortunately his only contributions to the game was a thrown away inbounds pass that led to a Bembry dunk and questionable travel call before Bryn Forbes was subbed back in after two minutes, and Belinelli was back in to start the fourth quarter.
- In a recurring theme dating back to last season, this team just doesn’t build on leads and momentum. The Hawks hit three-straight threes to open the fourth quarter and overall outscored the Spurs 38-22, hitting 6-10 threes while the Spurs struggled to make lay-ups. Their inability to put teams away, especially on the road, was a recurring problem last season and one the Spurs need to fix fast if they want to improve.
For the Hawks fans’ perspective, visit Peach Tree Hoops.
The Spurs will now return to the AT&T Center for a three-game homestand, beginning with Chris Paul and the Thunder on Thursday. Tip-off will be at 7:30 PM CT on FSSW.