This time it was the Hawks on the wrong end of a blowout.
And it was an ugly one.
The Warriors dominated the Hawks for the final three quarters of a 115-93 victory Saturday night at Philips Arena. The loss came two days after the Hawks beat up the Bobcats. The Warriors are clearly not the Bobcats.
“When they punched us in the mouth we did not respond,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “That was very disappointing. That was very disheartening.
“The most important thing with our ball club is we have to bring energy every night. If we don’t bring the energy then we are really just a below average team. If we bring the energy than I think we can compete with anybody.”
The Hawks (14-7) shot just 36.9 percent from the floor (31-for-84). They trailed by as many as 27 points as the game got out of hand in the third quarter. It was only the third loss in the past 14 games for the Hawks. The Warriors shot 49.5 percent (49-for-99), held the rebounding edge (54-45) and had more assists (32-21).
“They played the right way,” swingman DeShawn Stevenson said. “They got off to a great start. They rebounded. They did things that we didn’t do. You can’t play a team like that and expect to win. They are too talented.”
The Warriors (16-8) concluded a 6-1 East coast road trip. They placed five scorers in double-figures. David Lee led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Carl Landry (19), Harrison Barnes (19), Stephen Curry (18) and Jarrett Jack (13) also doubled up. Lee has a career-long of seven straight games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hawks were led by Al Horford with 17 points and nine rebounds. Lou Williams had 16 points and Ivan Johnson added 15 points and nine rebounds. Josh Smith had a tough night as he finished with three points on 1-of-12 shooting.
“They were coming down,” Smith said. “They were digging a lot, sinking their guy in so I wouldn’t get to the middle. You are going to have games like that. … If you are a basketball player, you know you are going to have games where you aren’t going to make shots. Tonight was my game. I’ve been playing well offensively for a long time and it was bound to happen.”
The Hawks fell a game behind the Heat for first place in the Southeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat defeated the Wizards Saturday.
The Warriors used a 16-5 run to start the second quarter to break open a tie game. They entered halftime with a 62-49 lead, the 13-point lead being the biggest of the first half. The Warriors had five double-digit scorers in the first half led by Curry with 13 points.
The Hawks shot just 36 percent (9-for-25) in the second quarter. Horford had 14 points.
“The energy and the effort is something that has to be there,” Horford said. “It hasn’t happened to the group all year. This is the first time I’ve seen it. It’s frustrating for me. We are at home. It was a great chance to get another win. We have to learn from this. …
“I would like to say there will be nights like this but I think it has to do that it was self-inflicted tonight. We took a lot of bad shots and that affected the way we defended and the way we played as a team. … It was the type of shots. There were a lot of bad shots. It’s something we are going to address as a team.”
Drew was assessed a technical foul at the end of the half for protesting a perceived foul as Jeff Teague drove for a layup in the closing seconds. Drew said his team let the officiating bother them.
“I felt we started blaming the officials,” Drew said. “Every call that happened we were disputing it. There is no place for that. When we were on a little bit of a roll these last few ball games we just played. We played through the officiating. You are not going to change the call so why do it? You blame the officials and don’t get back on defense it puts us at a disadvantage. We can’t play like that. We can’t have that type of performance, particularly when it’s not going well for us.”
The Hawks next play at Washington Tuesday. They host Oklahoma City on Wednesday. It will be the fifth back-to-back games this season. The Hawks are 3-1 in the openers and 4-0 in the final contest.
* Guard Anthony Morrow missed the game due to back soreness. Morrow first began experiencing pain last week against Memphis and the team has been managing the issue since. Morrow missed significant time due to a stress fracture in his back during his junior season at Georgia Tech in 2006.
* Former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was in attendance.
- Chris Vivlamore
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