There is no hangover.
Hawks players and head coach insisted Monday morning that the last-second loss to the Magic on Saturday – the nine-game win streak buster – is behind them. They have turned their attention to tonight’s game against the Bulls.
“No hangover,” DeMarre Carroll said. “More than anything it might get us going more because of the fact that we should have won that game. The winning streak was on our heads and now we can just go back to playing basketball, trying to get better.”
It was still painful.
Kyle Korver hit a dramatic 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Hawks a one-point lead. However, the Magic answered when Tobias Harris hit a shot at the buzzer, over the outstretched arms of Carroll and Paul Millsap, for a 100-99 win. Carroll appeared to initially slip on the inbounds play. However, he suggested there was more to it on Monday.
“I didn’t slip,” Carroll said. “(Nikola) Vucevic got his foot out there. I leave it at that.
“At the same time he hit a tough shot. I had an opportunity to stop him. I think if I never feel I could have kept him from getting the ball. It was a tough shot.”
The last-second shot was the second time this season the Hawks fell in such dramatic fashion. Lance Stephenson’s buzzer-beater gave the Hornets a double overtime win in November.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said there was no defensive breakdown on the play.
“There are so many games,” Budenholzer said. “You win some tough ones. You lose some tough ones. You put them both behind you and move forward.
“(Harris) made a tough shot. DeMarre was on him. There was no breakdown.”
Finally, Al Horford said while the win streak might help ease the pain the Hawks want more.
“I think, honestly, the nine-game winning streak overshadows that a little bit,” Horford said. “However, we’re still coming out here hungry and trying to get a win here tonight.”
The Hawks begin a tough five-game stretch against the Bulls. It starts a run that includes at the Cavaliers, at the Rockets, at the Mavericks and home against the Clippers.
“I don’t necessarily say they are tough,” Carroll said of the upcoming schedule. “They are just another game. We’ve got to go out there and do what we’ve been doing, like we were playing the Orlando Magic or the Indiana Pacers. We have to do it against the Chicago Bulls and put together 48 minutes.”