Coach Mike Woodson needed to change something to help the Atlanta Hawks get a win in Texas. He could have tinkered with his lineup or employed a new-look defense, but losing his eyebrows may have hit the mark.
Kept loose by Woodson’s pregame antics, the Hawks look to end another long road losing streak to a Texas team as they face the struggling San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.
Atlanta (29-14) had lost 10 straight at Houston before a 102-95 win Monday night, and Woodson addressed the Hawks prior to the game with his eyebrows missing, which he attributed to an accidental slip at the barbershop.
Whatever happened, the episode seemed to break some tension in the locker room, and Atlanta went on to win for the eighth time in 10 games.
“It’s not easy winning on the road,” Woodson told the Hawks’ official Web site. “We have to figure out how to win on the road. … Good teams must do that.”
Now Atlanta will try to snap an 11-game road losing streak to San Antonio (25-18). The Hawks, who have been held to 84.0 points per game during the skid, have dropped six in a row overall in the series.
The Spurs, though, are in danger of losing four straight home games for the first time since January 2002. They’ve lost three in a row overall for the third time this season, squandering the first half of a six-game homestand that they were hoping to take advantage of before hitting the road for most of February.
The Spurs gave up an average of 110.5 points during the first two games of their losing streak. Gregg Popovich was unhappy with San Antonio’s defense again in a 98-93 loss to Chicago on Monday night.
“Our guys just need to keep up the attitude, continue to learn and cut down on the mistakes,” Popovich said.
San Antonio also remains inconsistent offensively, averaging 93.2 points in its last six games after scoring 104.2 over its previous 20.
Richard Jefferson(notes) has disappointed in his first season with the Spurs, giving them 12.5 points per game - 7.1 below his average with Milwaukee last season. The veteran forward had a season-low two points on 1-for-8 shooting versus the Bulls.
Duncan shot 38.1 percent over his last three games and was limited to five rebounds against Chicago.
Jefferson and Duncan now have to contend with a talented Hawks frontcourt that includes Josh Smith(notes), Marvin Williams(notes) and Al Horford(notes). Smith is coming off one of his best games of the season, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and four steals.
“Whenever we’re able to come together and play defense … and share the ball, then we’re a tough team to beat,” Smith said.
Smith, though, has averaged 7.0 points and shot 24.1 percent in nine games against the Spurs.