Archive for December, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: Thunder 100, Hawks 92 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

Kevin Durant would have nothing to do with a Hawks comeback.

The Thunder star scored a game-high 41 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, as the Hawks failed to overcome a 17-point deficit in a 100-92 loss Wednesday at Philips Arena.

The Hawks nearly erased the big deficit and pulled to within four points, 73-69, early in the fourth quarter. Then Durant went to work. He scored 18 of the Thunders’ next 22 points, including a stretch of 13 straight.

The Hawks continued to fight but could never pull closer.

“He’s very, very talented,” Hawks swingman DeShawn Stevenson said of Durant. “Sometimes you can play good defense but even good defense is not good enough for a guy who is 7-foot tall with a jump shot like that, with a handle. Tonight he had a great night. It was his night.”

Russell Westbrook added 27 points for the Thunder (21-4), who improved on their NBA-best record with their 12th straight victory. Westbrook scored 21 first-half points as the …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Harris out vs. Thunder (updated)

UPDATE: Anthony Morrow was cleared to play and will dress out tonight.

Vivlamore reporting.

Here is your report from the Hawks prior to tonight’s game against the Thunder.

* Guard Devin Harris will not play against the Thunder tonight due to the sore left foot he suffered in Tuesday’s win against the Wizards. He received treatment on the injury but was ruled out. His status for Friday’s game at the 76ers in uncertain.

* Guard Anthony Morrow, who has missed the past two games with back soreness, is a game-time decision. Morrow told me he thought he could play but needed to get his back stretched before a final determination is made.

* DeShawn Stevenson, who coach Larry Drew hoped not to play Monday in the first of the back-to-back games, will play and is in the starting lineup. He will be joined by Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford. Stevenson played 13 minutes after Harris left injured in the second quarter.

* Drew said he would likely go to his bench more …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks game thread: Harris out vs. Thunder (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 100, Wizards 95 OT (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It wasn’t supposed to be this close. But was it ever.

DeShawn Stevenson, who the Hawks hoped not to play, hit a key 3-pointer with 2:07 remaining in overtime to help the Hawks to a 100-95 victory over the lowly Wizards Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

The Hawks could have sealed the game at the free-throw line in the final two minutes. However, Stevenson and Al Horford each hit only one of two free throws. After a Jordan Crawford basket and a missed Hawks shot, the Wizards trailed 98-95 and had the ball with 24 seconds remaining. The Wizards’ Nene missed a shot in the paint and Kyle Korver sank two free throws with 7.7 remaining to clinch the victory.

The Hawks ordinarily don’t play the veteran Stevenson in back-to-back games and wanted to save him for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder. However, with Anthony Morrow out and Devin Harris injured during the game, coach Larry Drew had no option. When Harris couldn’t return for the …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Morrow out, Stevenson questionable (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Washington, D.C.

UPDATE: Anthony Morrow will not play against the Wizards as he continues to experience soreness in his back. “We are going to rest him tonight due to the soreness in his back,” coach Larry Drew said. “We’ll take the extra precautionary measures.”

I asked Drew if the loss of Morrow would tempt him to play DeShawn Stevenson, whom he would like to rest for tomorrow’s game against the Thunder. Stevenson will dress. “In terms of the game plan of (Stevenson) playing or not playing, I was hoping (Morrow) would be able to play. So, we’ll just see how the game goes.”

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The Hawks will go with a starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford against the Wizards tonight.

There are two reasons for the unit, according to coach Larry Drew.

With a game at home against Oklahoma City tomorrow, Drew may not play DeShawn Stevenson. The veteran swingman and defensive stalwart does not play in back-to-back games and …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks game thread: Morrow out, Stevenson questionable (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Morrow returns to practice

Vivlamore reporting.

Here is your report from Monday’s practice:

Anthony Morrow, who missed Saturday’s game with back soreness, participated in practice on Monday. Morrow said he participated on a limited basis but said there were no issues.

“It’s good,” Morrow said. “I got in loosened up. I got some work in. I was kind of limited today but I felt great.”

Morrow said the issue is related to the stress fracture he suffered during his junior season at Georgia Tech.

“Just a little flare up,” Morrow said. “I was going real hard, especially not playing much, and I think I overdid it. I’m always trying to get better so that is on me. I just have to manage it better.”

The pain started during last week’s game against Memphis, his first start of the season. He was able to play through the pain against Miami and Orlando before needing to rest.

Morrow said he was to get treatment before the team departed for Tuesday’s game at Washington. A determination on his playing status will be made …

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Atlanta Hawks: A look at the Hawks at the quarter mark

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks have turned more than a few heads with their play during the first quarter of the season.

Through 21 games, the Hawks (14-7) are second in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference. They sit just a game behind the defending NBA champion Heat. Not many expected the Hawks, with a revamped a roster that included the loss of a six-time All-Star, to be such a part of the league conversation.

“Nobody outside-wise gave us an opportunity to be as successful as we are,” forward Josh Smith said. “We have been a successful ball club and have played with a lot of confidence.”

Here is a look at where the Hawks have been and what lies ahead after reaching the quarter pole of a long basketball season.

Biggest surprise

Almost to a man, coach and players point to the new-look team’s ability to come together quickly as the main reason for the early successes. After five consecutive postseason appearances, the Hawks brought in a new general …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks look to put season-worst loss behind

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks took a day off Sunday to lick their collective wounds after the worst loss of the season. The Warriors manhandled the Hawks on the way to a 115-93 victory Saturday night at Philips Arena.

“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 Hawks (14-7) were all but out of the game by the second quarter. They trailed by as many as 27 points in the third quarter. Josh Smith was held to three points on 1-of-12 shooting. The defeat was far worse than the 13-point loss at the Clippers in the fifth game of the season, the previous highest margin of defeat.

“I told the guys after the game, this is one game,” Drew said. “We’ll look at it and see what happened. We are not going to let the snowball effect to take place. We are going to move on from this game as fast as we can.”

The Hawks struggled in nearly all phases of the game, Drew said. They shot 36.9 …

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Atlanta Hawks: Warriors 115, Hawks 93 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

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 …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Morrow out against Warriors (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks will continue with their normal lineup tonight against the Warriors with Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson, Josh Smith and Al Horford.

The Hawks will be a little short-handed as guard Anthony Morrow is out with back soreness. Morrow began experiencing back pain last week against the Grizzlies and the team has been managing the issue since. Morrow missed significant time with a stress fracture in his back during his junior year at Georgia Tech in 2006.

For the Hawks (14-6), they will be looking to avenge one of their losses this season after falling to the Warriors 92-88 in Oakland on Nov. 14. The Hawks were without center Al Horford and guard Devin Harris as they suffered from a stomach illness that hit the team hard during that West coast trip.

Coach Larry Drew welcomes another chance at the Warriors (15-8) with Horford.

“He is a big part of what we do,” Drew said. “I went back and looked at that game. It was kind of a weird game for …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks game thread: Morrow out against Warriors (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 113, Bobcats 90 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks were not about to let an opponent back into the game.

Not this time. Not with what was at stake.

The Hawks started fast and rarely let up in a 113-90 drubbing of the lowly Bobcats Thursday night at Philips Arena. The win gave the Hawks (14-6) a share of first place in the Southeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference with the Heat.

The victory came one night after the Hawks had to hold off the struggling Magic. It also came two weeks after almost losing a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead to these Bobcats at home.

After leading this game by as many as 28 points in the second half all thoughts of another comeback were moot.

“I think we were able to keep executing,” forward Josh Smith said. “We didn’t get complacent. When we get big leads we tend to get complacent a little bit and let our guard down. Tonight we were able to put our foot on the gas and not let up.”

The Hawks have won 11 of their past 13 games on the way to the top of …

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