Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew was very critical following his team's 90-76 loss in Philadelphia on Friday night that contained a third-quarter collapse in which the Hawks were outscored 25-10. On Saturday, Drew was hoping to see his team respond with a solid performance against a struggling Cleveland team.
The Hawks delivered a blow out 121-94 win over the Cavaliers and Drew was much more pleased following the game.
"This team has responded to tough stretches. When we've had games where we've had tough losses we've bounced back. Tonight, I thought from start to finish we were in an attack mode. You could see the aggression, you could see the energy."
Slow starts to the second half have plagued this Hawks team recently and those struggles were forefront in Friday's loss to the Sixers. Atlanta built a 61-42 lead at halftime on Saturday but Drew challenged his club at halftime to come out of the intermission with a killer instinct.
"At halftime, I threw the challenge out there. Our last couple of ball games we have gotten off to very slow starts in the third quarter, and they responded to the challenge tonight and extended the lead and never looked back.
"I said, ‘Let's come out with the killer instinct.' I think this is the first game where we really extended a lead like we did in that third quarter. ... We were a team on a mission in that third quarter. You could clearly see that."
The result was a 14-4 run by the Hawks to start the second half and a lead that eventually extended to 30 points.
For more on this game Hawks fans should head on over to Peachtree Hoops and Cavs fans should stop by Fear The Sword. For more NBA basketball news and analysis be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.