You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

How the Hawks allowed 25 3-pointers and nearly erased 25-point deficit


Five observations from the Hawks’ 135-130 loss to the Cavaliers Friday.

1. The Cavaliers set an NBA regular-season record for 3-pointers in a game with 25. That number should sound familiar. The Cavaliers set the NBA record for 3-pointers in any game (regular season or playoffs) with 25 during last year’s playoff series against the Hawks.

The Cavaliers had seven 3-points in the first, second and third quarters for a total of 21. Consider it a win that the Hawks only allowed four in the fourth quarter. The Hawks switched defensive coverages and the Cavalier took several bad attempts in the final period.

“The first three quarters they were breaking down our defense,” Kent Bazemore said. “They do such a good job of moving the ball and guys were knocking down shots. They made 25 3’s, which is incredible, and we still only lost be five and had our chances down the stretch.”

The Hawks have had trouble guarding the 3-point line all season. The Cavaliers just punch them in the gut from long-range.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with six 3-pointers. Kyrie Irving had five and Channing Frye, Derrick Williams, Kyle Korver and Richard Jefferson all that three.

2. The Hawks made a fourth-quarter comeback that nearly won the game. They scored 42 points, a season-best for any quarter. Paul Millsap had 12 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 11 points.

After trailing by as many as 25 points, the Hawks closed to within a point, 124-123, when Millsap hit a step-back jumper.

The Hawks relied heavily on a group of Ersan Ilyasove, Thabo Sefolosha, Dennis Schroder, Bazemore, Millsap and Hardaway during the comeback. Hardaway played every minute of the quarter and Ilyasova played all but two seconds.

“All the pressure is off you when you are now that much,” Hardaway said. “You never want to be down like that from the jump. When you are ever in that position, you go out and play freely. You look up and you are down 10 with five minutes to go in the game. You start building life. The crowd starts getting into it. The energy starts to rise in the building.”

3. Korver delivered the knockout blow against his former team. After the Hawks had pulled to within the one point, the sharpshooter came off a screen, took a pass from LeBron James and hit a tough 3-pointer. The Cavaliers had a four-point lead and enough of a cushion to put down the Hawks’ comeback.

“I blame myself,” Hardaway said. “I know Kyle is great shooter. He came off that screen and I tried to contest the best I could. I was doing that the entire game. Kyle being Kyle, he knocked it down when it mattered most. That’s why he’s one of the best.”

4. The Hawks made their late run with Dwight Howard on the bench. The center did not play in the fourth quarter.

Although the Hawks held a 56-28 advantage in points in the paint, coach Mike Budenholzer went with a smaller lineup to combat the Cavaliers’ 3-point shooting. Millsap and Ilyasova served as the bigs.

“Guarding the 3-point line,” Budenholzer said of his decision to sit Howard. “To some degree, it feels like you are trading 2’s for 3’s. At some point we had to get better defensively, get better guarding the 3-point line. I think it’s pretty obvious that Dwight is going to do a good job of protecting the paint and go a great job at the rim. It’s a challenge for us and for him to find all the shooters.”

Howard was not in the post-game locker room following the game.

5. Bazemore played a lot at point guard during the Hawks’ late run. Backup Malcolm Delaney hurt his ankle earlier in the game, according to Budenholzer, and played just seven minutes.

“He said he was OK but in this game, in this situation, if you aren’t at 100 percent, I just went with a gut,” Budenholzer said. “Played Dennis a little more and tried to get Dennis a break and that group got going. I stuck with that group.”

Bazemore said he just tried to take an aggressive approach in his time at the point. And of course, fed Hardaway and Millsap.

“You never want to be down 25 to a team like that,” Bazemore said. “But fighting like that is something that you can’t coach. … We absorbed a lot tonight. LeBron hitting one-legged 3’s in the corner. Kyrie pulling up from the logo. These are huge plays. You have to realize that those guys are special and you have to keep playing.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

Inside the box score: Wizards 103, Hawks 99
Inside the box score: Wizards 103, Hawks 99

Inside the box score and more of the Hawks’ 103-99 loss in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series: Key players * Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points despite going 1 of 9 from 3-point range. * Otto Porter Jr. gave the Wizards a third scorer with 17 points, including nine of the free-throw line. * Dennis Schroder led the Hawks...
Wizards takes series lead with narrow win over Hawks (updated)
Wizards takes series lead with narrow win over Hawks (updated)

The series has reached an elimination game. And it’s the Hawks with their backs against the wall. The Wizards again defended home court with a narrow 103-99 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals playoff series Wednesday at the Verizon Center. The Wizards lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Philips...
Time set for Game 6 of Hawks-Wizards series
Time set for Game 6 of Hawks-Wizards series

Game 6 of the Hawks-Wizards Eastern Conference playoff series will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, the NBA announced Tuesday night. The game, to be played at Philips Arena, will be televised by ESPNU and NBA TV. The first-round series is tied 2-2 going into Game 5 tonight in Washington, D.C. If necessary, Game 7 will be played in Washington on Sunday. Time...
Ressler won’t second-guess contracts of Howard, Bazemore
Ressler won’t second-guess contracts of Howard, Bazemore

This summer, the Hawks committed $140 million to Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore. Principal owner Tony Ressler is not about to second-guess those sizeable contracts, though they have been the subject of much fan angst during an up-and-down season and even now during the Hawks’ playoff run. The Hawks evened their best-of-seven Eastern Conference...
Hawks’ Budenholzer has reaffirmed the obvious: He can coach
Hawks’ Budenholzer has reaffirmed the obvious: He can coach

For anybody who is wondering how the Hawks have gone from playoff flat-lined to tied 2-2 in their series with the Washington Wizards, here are the three most pertinent metrics: Turnovers: They committed 39 in the first two games, but only 24 in the next two (points-off-turnovers differential: 15). Three-point shooting: They made only 11 in the first...
More Stories