Coming into tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, the San Antonio Spurs were 9-1 in their last 10 games. One of those wins came against the Golden State Warriors, a team that the Spurs are battling for the top seed in the Western Conference. Kawhi Leonard has also been on a hot streak over those 10 games, averaging 25.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.2 steals per game.
The Hawks have been mediocre in their last 10 games, going 5-5, and needed a win tonight to break that slump. One bright spot over that stretch has been Paul Millsap. He averaged 19.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line per game.
After a rough first half from the Hawks, the Spurs found themselves with a 54-43 lead. But, after a 30-27 third quarter from the Hawks, they found themselves only down 10 with a little spark heading into the 4th quarter.
The fourth quarter would be dead-even at 26 and the Spurs would hang on by a final score of 107-99. The Hawks looked like they may spark a comeback, but the Spurs are just too tough in crunch time and it showed in tonight’s game. If you are a Spurs’ fan you are so used to this; the Spurs hang in the entire game, get a big lead, and then they bury the team when they need too. If we’re being honest you Spurs’ fans are really spoiled, but you better appreciate that man Kawhi Leonard in the prime of his career.
The takeaway from the game for the Hawks is that they need to go through the post more. Schröder had a really nice game, but the Hawks found themselves settling for too many jumpers on the perimeter.
For the Spurs it was the typical game that makes this team so dangerous. Great ball movement, bench players stepping up, and Kawhi was in his own zone. It seems like we see this every season from the Spurs and the stats back it up. With Kevin Durant out right now for the Warriors the Spurs have a good chance of taking that top spot in the West and some momentum going into the playoffs.
The best player for the Hawks’ was Dennis Schröder, who finished with 22 points, 10 assists, and 2 steals.
The Spurs’ top performer was none other than Kawhi Leonard, who packed the box score with 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Tonight’s top play of the game was a smooth jumper just before the half-time buzzer from the Klaw.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 14, 2017
Tonight’s loss drops the Hawks to 37-30 on the season, pegging them at the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference.
For the Spurs, this win puts them alongside the Warriors as the best record in the NBA. Both teams sit at 52-14 and have a great shot to take that number one spot in the West.
The Hawks will head back to Atlanta to take on the Memphis Grizzlies this Thursday at 6:30 pm Central Time.
The Spurs will stay at home and take on the Portland Trail Blazers this Wednesday on ESPN at 7 pm Central Time.