The Atlanta Hawks were missing starting center Al Horford on Wednesday, as he was sidlelined with a stomach illness. That left them at a distinct disadvantage inside, where the Golden State Warriors dominated as they topped the Hawks, 92-88. The Warriors had more than double the points in the paint the Hawks managed, triple their second-chance points, and grabbed 44 rebounds to Atlanta's 29.
"We definitely could have used Al, without a doubt. He's a big piece to what we do. We certainly could have used him tonight. As you know, this league is about guys not being able to play, whether its illness or injury, and you have to step up."
Josh Smith, who played on Monday despite suffering the same illness, noted that dealing with Golden State's dribble penetration was a big problem for Atlanta:
"We have to do a better job of playing on the perimeter. When people get into our paint, bigs are forced to help and contest shots. Normally when we take the challenge defensively on the perimeter and play with a chip on our shoulders I think that we are a good basketball team. We have to do that on a consistent basis."
Zaza Pachulia started in Horford's spot. He had four points and two rebounds, but missed time with a laceration above his right eye in the first half. Ivan Johnson made a strong contribution off the bench, shooting 7 of 8 for 15 points and grabbing four boards. The Hawks had accuracy problems all night, including shooting 31.6 percent in the third quarter.