The Atlanta Hawks lost 125-113 to the Minnesota Timberwolves (Minn.) on Nov. 25 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, their seventh straight consecutive loss. The Hawks now hold a 4-13 record and have fallen to No. 14 in the Eastern Conference.
At the end of the first quarter, Minnesota held an early 38-30 lead. But the Hawks retaliated in the second quarter, scoring 34 points and holding the Timberwolves to just 16.
While the Hawks entered the third quarter with a comfortable 64-54 lead, Minnesota exploded for 39 points in the quarter. Atlanta closely trailed the Timberwolves 93-90 going into the fourth quarter, but were unable to mount a comeback and lost 125-113.
Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce recognized that the team needs a lot of growth before it can truly compete.
“Championship teams do not have close games,” Pierce said. “When [they] have a lead [they] separate. [They] do not keep it a close game. When we have a lead, we do not know how to separate, and that is the challenge.”
Despite the loss, the Hawks had a solid offensive outing. They shot 44.1 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from beyond the arc. Additionally, Atlanta scored 50 points in the paint, 18 second-chance points and nine fast break points.
Sophomore guard Trae Young carried a majority of Atlanta’s offensive load, scoring 37 points, dishing out nine assists and collecting six rebounds. Veteran forward Jabari Parker and rookie forward-center Bruno Fernando both scored in double figures, posting 22 points and 13 points, respectively.
Like they did all season, the Hawks struggled defensively. The Timberwolves shot 45.6 percent from the field and an incredible 42.9 percent from the three point line. Furthermore, Atlanta allowed 46 points in the paint, 17 second chance points.
Despite the Hawks’ defensive woes, Pierce does not think defense is the Hawks’ only issue.
“There’s no one thing,” Pierce said. “We just need to win a game … Once we do that, I think everything will just settle in.”
The Timberwolves ran their offense through veteran center-forward Karl-Anthony Towns. The big man led Minnesota with 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Four other Timberwolves also scored in double digits, led by veteran guard Andrew Wiggins with 25 points.
Atlanta looked to snap their losing streak against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 27 in Milwaukee, but they lost their eighth consecutive game 111-102. The Hawks also lost their next two games against the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets 105-104 and 158-111, respectively. However, the Hawks finally snapped their ten game losing streak against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 2 in Atlanta 104-79.
Young expressed frustration at the team’s inability to break the losing streak.
“We haven’t won a game in a long time,” Young said in a postgame interview. “It feels good to get a win. We are not going to be satisfied with winning just one game. We have to keep going and keep getting better each game.”
Atlanta looks to avoid another losing streak on Dec. 4 against the Brooklyn Nets in Atlanta.