Two key components for the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala sat the game out with injuries - Curry with a left ankle injury and Iguodala with a left hamstring injury. Without these two players, the chance that the Atlanta Hawks might be able to pull off a win only became more likely. However, the Warriors were not about to subject their 24-0 home winning streak this season, with or without Curry and Iguodala.
Golden State Implements Early Momentum
The Warriors came out with a great deal of determination and energy. Early back-to-back threes by Klay Thompson put Golden State in a good position in the first quarter. The Hawks, on the other hand, were lacking the momentum that they had discovered in the third quarter of their previous matchup with the Warriors.
Atlanta got off to yet another slow start. Kyle Korver’s first three pointer of the night brought them to trail by two towards the end of the first period. The Hawks then briefly led 18-17 for the first time of the night after a three point shot by Mike Scott. Although they missed some open shots and committed a total of five turnovers, the Hawks continued to play solid basketball and maintained good ball movement overall. The Hawks shot 37 percent while the Warriors shot 48 percent, and the quarter ended with the Hawks trailing 32-26.
Golden State took off not long into the second, increasing the point deficit as they increase their shooting to 52 percent. Further Hawks mistakes, including missing wide-open shots and committing additional turnovers, supplied the Warriors with some easy shots and allowed them to remain ahead.
The Warriors took their biggest lead of the night thus far by 14 points with just three minutes left in the half. By halftime, the Hawks were able to cut that lead back to 11, with a score of 59-48. Although Atlanta had played at a good pace overall, they would have to match the energy of Draymond Green in order to have a chance in the second half.
Hawks Fight for a Win
Atlanta came out with more energy and focus to start the second half, but the Warriors refused to let the Hawks gain control of the game. They ultimately thrived off of careless mistakes made by the Hawks. It was towards the end of the quarter when the Hawks rediscovered their potential game winning momentum just as they had in their last meeting with the Warriors. The Hawks had made their way to 73-70 towards the end of the quarter, which was the closest they had been since the first quarter. The period ended with the Hawks trailing 75-70.
The fourth quarter consisted of the Hawks ceaseless effort to turn the game around, although they continued to trail by a few points early on. A Hawk’s lead of 88-87 came after a three pointer by Tim Hardaway Jr., with under seven minutes left to play. A rebound and then a shot by Al Horford increased their lead to 90-87, until Green tied the game at 90 for the Warriors.
More turnovers and a few consecutive missed shots allowed the Warriors to take the lead yet again. Korver kept hope alive for the Hawks with a three point shot that allowed them to trail by two. Dennis Schroder then tied the game at 95 with just over a minute left on the clock. The period ended in a tie at 97 and sent the game into overtime.
Green Makes Game Winning “Miracle Shot” in OT
Both teams struggled to score in the beginning, but the Warriors were able to take the lead 99-97 after a foul was called on Horford. It was ultimately Green who stepped up for Golden State with his biggest shot of the night. His last second three point shot not only saved the Warrior’s possession, but also put them in position for a win with just 40 seconds left to play. The Hawks were unable to recover at that point, and the game ended with a win for the Warriors, 109-105.
In the end, it all came down to who could make difficult shots with one on one coverage and come out with a win. Atlanta definitely gave themselves a chance to win, but couldn’t pull it off against a difficult Golden State Team – even without Curry.