The Golden State Warriors' bid for a perfect road trip ended with a thud Friday night in Orlando. But the Warriors still have one more to go when they tangle with the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Golden State embarked on this season-long trek eastward on Dec. 5 and kicked it off with a win in Detroit. Victories in Brooklyn, Washington and Charlotte followed but the league took notice on Wednesday when the Warriors toppled the defending champion Miami Heat.
There's no shame in failing to go 6-0 on a sojourn like this.
The Warriors were out of it truly at that point. David Lee notched his sixth straight game of 20 and 10 with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Stephen Curry led the way with 25 and Klay Thompson struggled to nine points on 3-for-13 shooting.
"We're not front runners and we're not going to start pointing fingers, making excuses. Hey, we lost. It happens," said head coach Mark Jackson. "The teams that are the top teams in this league bounce back. They own it and they move forward, and that's exactly what we plan on doing."
The Warriors wrap their successful trip against the Hawks, who are on quiet a roll themselves.
Atlanta has won five of six and 12 of its last 15 to move into a tie with the Miami Heat for first place in the Southeast Division, picking up its latest win on Thursday against the visiting Charlotte Bobcats.
Devin Harris had a game-high 20 points in the 113-90 win as the Hawks showed a killer instinct that perhaps had lacked at times this season. Atlanta outscored Charlotte by 17 points in the first half, including 30-19 in the first.
"We've had the opportunity to do this several times in the last month and for whatever reason just kind of let up and let teams back in the game," said guard Kyle Korver. "At halftime we kind of talked about it and said we're not going to let this happen again. Lets go out there and put them away and I thought we did that."
Korver ended with 13 points and Josh Smith had 18. Ivan Johnson netted a career-high 16 points with eight rebounds and Lou Williams matched a career- high with nine assists to go along with 13 points off the bench.
"I think normally when we get big leads we tend to get complacent a little bit and kind of let our guards down. Tonight we were able to keep our foot on the gas and not let up," said Smith, who is averaging 20.6 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last seven games.
Golden State has won its past two meetings with the Hawks, including a 92-88 victory at home on Nov. 14. Harrison Barnes and Lee both had double-doubles for the Warriors, while Williams had 18 off the bench for the Hawks, who played without Al Horford due to illness.
Atlanta has won five of its past seven at home in this series.