The Atlanta Hawks saw their winning streak snapped with a 95-84 loss to the Houston Rockets to begin a three game road trip.
One of the problems with falling behind early is that it forces a team to play from behind which uses up more energy. The Hawks were lacking in that department Saturday night as they were slow to cut off penetration, slow on help defense and slow on closing out on shooters. The result was nine three pointers made for the Rockets and seemingly one to hold the Hawks at bay every single time they threatened.
Atlanta cut the Houston lead to 79-73 with 5:18 remaining only to see a Josh Smith turnover lead to a Jordan Hill layup and later after a Joe Johnson offensive foul, Chase Budinger's three pointer put the Rockets back up 84-73.
Kevin Martin turned in his third straight solid performance pouring in 27 points while shooting 6-11 from beyond-the-arc. Luis Scola finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. Chase Budinger finished with 17 points while Jordan Hill scored 11 and grabbed 15 rebounds. Point guard Kyle Lowry didn't make a field goal in the game but was a huge factor by dishing out a NBA season-high 18 assists.
Joe Johnson and Al Horford led Atlanta with 15 points each. Tracy McGrady added 13 points and six rebounds off the bench while Josh Smith added 12 points and seven rebounds. Jeff Teague finished with six points and five assists but had only attempted one field goal through the first three quarters of the game finishing 3-7.
For more on this game Atlanta fans should check out Peachtree Hoops, Houston Rockets fans should stop by The Dream Shake. For updates on everything NBA Basketball, fans should check out SB Nation's NBA Basketball hub.