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Hawks drop third straight to start 2014

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After winning their final game in 2013, the Hawks have now lost three straight to begin the new year, falling 91-86 to the Brooklyn Nets on the road Monday night.

Former Hawk Joe Johnson had 23 points as the Hawks continued to struggle on the road, falling to 6-12 on the year and 18-17 overall. Johnson made 10 of 22 shots in leading his current teammates past his former ones.

Mirza Televovic added 16 points off the bench for Brooklyn, while Kevin Garnett grabbed ten rebounds. Paul Pierce had a quiet night for Brooklyn with just nine points.

Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague had 16 points each for the Hawks, who continue to miss Al Horford in the middle. The Hawks were outscored 34-26 in the paint, and shot just 38% from the floor on the night. Atlanta had just 34 second-half points as the Nets rallied and won to move to 13-21 for the season.

Since losing Horford at the end of an overtime win against Cleveland on December 26, the Hawks have struggled offensively. They have scored less than 102 points in five of their six games, with the sole exception being a 118-point overtime effort against Charlotte.

They have gone 2-4 in Horford's absence.

Thankfully, in the weak Eastern Conference, the Hawks are still in third place despite a mediocre 18-17 record. Even with an expected falloff for the rest of the season, they may still sneak into the playoffs almost by default.

The Hawks' next game is Friday at home against the Houston Rockets.

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