Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs Pick & Prediction MARCH 19th 2023

Stadium: AT&T Center San Antonio
Logo Atlanta Hawks
Logo San Antonio Spurs

-10 -104
245.5o -110



If the surging Atlanta Hawks want to make a move into a guaranteed spot in the playoffs, they can ill afford to falter in their next two games that will be against teams ranked in the bottom three of the league.

The Hawks (35-35) begin that crucial stretch on Sunday afternoon when they travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs. The second game will be Tuesday at home against Detroit, which owns the worst record in the NBA.

Atlanta heads to the Alamo City after a 127-119 win at home over Golden State on Friday in which Trae Young hit for 25 points, dished out 12 assists and made key plays down the stretch to secure the victory. Young has now racked up 34 double-doubles on the season.

John Collins added 22 points, 17 of them in the first quarter, for the Hawks, who have won three of their past five games from and are currently eighth in the East standings, four games out of sixth, the last spot to avoid the play-in tournament.

Onyeka Okongwu scored 19 for Atlanta in Friday's win, with Bogdan Bogdanovic and De'Andre Hunter adding 14 each, AJ Griffin hitting for 12 points and Dejounte Murray contributing 10.

After the game, Young lauded the Hawks' defense in the fourth quarter as a key to winning on Friday.

"It's important, and we've got to continue to win games on the defensive end," Young said. "We're going to score with anybody in this league it's about defensive end and getting stops. When we do that we're able to get wins"

The Spurs have lost three of their past four games, the two most recent ones in overtime after blowing large second-half leads. Friday's 126-120 setback at home to short-handed Memphis had to hurt especially bad because San Antonio led by 29 points four minutes into the third quarter and let it all slip away.

Devin Vassell led the Spurs with 25 points while Zach Collins had 24, Keldon Johnson scored 21, Malaki Branham added 18 points and Keita Bates-Diop tallied 12 before leaving with an Achilles injury. Sandro Mamukelashvili took a game-high 14 rebounds for San Antonio.

"We just got to learn how to close out a game," Vassell said. "We were up 11 with two minutes left. Several communication things and just being able to execute down the stretch is big. I said it all year, we're a young team we got to learn, but that one (loss) hurt."

The Spurs (18-52) were missing key reserves Romeo Langford (left adductor), Devonte' Graham (left quad soreness) and Doug McDermott (right hip contusion). Rookie forward Jeremy Sochan also left after the first period when he aggravated a knee injury, while Bates-Diop is playing through Achilles soreness.

After the game, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich credited his team for its determination and competitiveness and blamed the loss on the lack of familiarity among some of his players.

"We got a little thin -- we needed (Bates-Diop and Sochan) to finish the job for sure," Popovich said. "They (Spurs) learned a lot. To compete as hard as we did, I'm proud of them. They did a good job."

The Hawks won the first meeting of the year with San Antonio 125-106 on Feb. 11 in Atlanta.

--Field Level Media

Atlanta Hawks
San Antonio Spurs

Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs Recap MAR 19TH 2023

Keldon Johnson had 29 points and 12 rebounds and Devin Vassell added 29 points as the San Antonio Spurs came back from 24 points down to beat the visiting Atlanta Hawks 126-118 on Sunday afternoon.

Atlanta led by 22 points at halftime but gave most of it back in a ragged third quarter, heading to the final period up just 103-100. The Hawks were still ahead at 114-108 until San Antonio forged a 16-0 run behind eight points from Zach Collins and five from Blake Wesley to move to the front at 124-114 with 1:54 to play.

The Hawks missed 11 straight shots and had three turnovers in that decisive stretch, after which San Antonio easily closed out the win.

Zach Collins added 19 for San Antonio while Tre Jones and Julian Champagnie scored 11 each.

Dejounte Murray led the Hawks with 22 points in his return to San Antonio after signing with the Hawks in the offseason. Omyeka Okongwu added 17 points, with Clint Capela racking up 15 points and 12 rebounds, AJ Griffin also scoring 15 points and John Collins hitting for 14.

Trae Young had just 9 points on 4 of 15 shooting from the floor for Atlanta.

The Hawks trailed just once in the first quarter before pushing the lead to 38-30 on Bogdan Bogdanovic's jumper at the 1:46 mark. Atlanta led 40-34 after 12 minutes of play.

A finger roll by Griffin with 8:48 to play in the second period expanded the Hawks' lead to double digits. A layup by Zach Collins cut into the lead but Atlanta responded with a 10-0 run that stoked its advantage to 67-50 after Griffin's floater with 5:09 remaining in the period.

It only got worse from there for the Spurs, as a 3-pointer and a three-point play by John Collins sandwiched around a dunk by Capela gave Atlanta an 83-61 lead at the break. The 83 points surrendered by San Antonio in the half was the most in a first half since 1990, according to the Spurs PR department.

Murray's 16 points led all scorers before halftime while Griffin added 15 and Bogdanovic had 13 off the bench for Atlanta. Johnson and Vassell paced San Antonio with 13 points each.

The Spurs roared back in the third quarter behind Vassell (14 points in the period) and Johnson (12) to pull within 103-100.

--Field Level Media