Going inside a Hawks’ 123-115 detriment to a Thunder on Friday night in Oklahoma City.
1. Pero has himself a night
Without Enes Kanter (ankle), and Serge Ibaka (knee) — and, not to mention, Kevin Durant, who is out indefinitely after experiencing tenderness in his feet — a Thunder are lacking some size. Granted, they still have 7-footer Steven Adams, yet a event was there for a Hawks to take advantage.
One of Atlanta’s bigs did, usually it was from over a arc.
Pero Antic was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers, attack as many as he did in a final 8 games combined, in environment a career high with 22 points, including 18 in a initial half.
The opening has been a prolonged time entrance from a center, who hadn’t scored in double sum given he had 12 vs. a Pacers on Jan. 21. That diversion sealed out a best widen of Antic’s time with a Hawks as he scored during slightest 10 in 5 of 8 points.
During that stretch, Antic strike 43.3 from distance, yet in a 20 games between afterwards Jan. 21 and Friday, a Macedonian was sharpened only 15.9 percent on 3s and only 22.2 overall.
Antic’s mangle out couldn’t have come during a improved time. It helped shroud a Thunder holding a corner in a paint 54-50 (it was 36-28 during halftime) with Dion Waiters, who had 26 points overall, provision 10 of them.
2. No negligence Westbrook, even when everybody knows what’s coming
With a aforementioned Durant, Kanter and Ibaka out, there was no doubt who was going to have to shoulder a bucket for Oklahoma City opposite a Eastern Conference’s leader.
And all that being said, Russell Westbrook still had his approach with a Hawks.
Coming in with an NBA-best 8 triple doubles, he continued his attack of Jason Kidd — who is a final actor to post some-more than 9 when he had 13 in 2007-08 — and scarcely did so in only dual quarters.
Westbrook went into a second half with 16 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds and finished with 36 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
The final time a Hawks had authorised a triple-double was Feb. 11, 2014 to a Bulls’ Joakim Noah, who had 19 points, 16 play and 11 assists.
3. When a .500 highway outing is a winning one
Westbrook’s dictatorial night — combined with Wednesday’s better during a hands of a Warriors — gave a Hawks back-to-back waste to Western Conference playoff teams. It also forsaken Atlanta to 3-3 on this highway trip, a longest of a season.
But given a Hawks final played during Philips Arena on Mar 9, they mislaid Mike Scott to a toe damage (one that isn’t as serious as primarily thought), Kyle Korver to a damaged nose and Thabo Sefolosha still isn’t behind nonetheless from him calf injury.
There are china linings, though.
The initial is that, by trait of a Wizards’ 113-99 detriment to a Clippers on Friday night, Atlanta clinched a Southeast Division title, a franchise’s initial given 1993-94.
Then there’s a fact that with 13 regular-season games to play, a Hawks (53-15) can still get to 60 wins — a authorization initial — and a sorcery series to bind a No. 1 seed in a East is during 3 games.
With 8 of a subsequent 10 games opposite teams during .500 or next — Orlando, Miami, Charlotte (twice), Milwaukee, Detroit and Brooklyn (twice) — those goals are really most in steer and given that stretch, don’t be astounded if a Hawks rest starters down a stretch.
The Hawks lapse home for Sunday’s diversion opposite a Spurs hobbled and carrying mislaid uninterrupted games, yet a certain news from a East leader’s viewpoint is it didn’t derail anything.
10.8 — The Hawks had 9 steals opposite Oklahoma City, giving them an normal of 10.8 per diversion during a highway trip, aloft than their deteriorate normal (8.9).
30-plus — While Westbrook’s triple-double was a initial authorised by a Hawks in some-more than a year, his indicate sum was a top for an Atlanta-yielded triple-double given Feb. 21, 1992, when Michael Jordan had 33 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.