New York --- The Hawks' current struggles travel as well or better than any frequent flier. They haven't won anywhere the past five days.
Not Atlanta, Miami or New York.
Wednesday's 112-104 loss to the sub-.500 New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden is the Hawks' latest failed attempt at recapturing the magic that led them to a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference standings by New Year's Day.
They could be out of that spot by the weekend, with both Detroit and Miami clawing at their heels for that coveted space as the playoff chase heats up heading into next month's All-Star break.
Not even an eight-point halftime cushion was enough for the Hawks to work with Wednesday night. They turned that advantage over to the Knicks before the end of the third quarter as they went from leading 55-47 at the break to trailing 82-74 to start the fourth quarter.
The Knicks stretched their lead to as many as 13, schooling the Hawks' down the stretch with back-door plays and outhustling them for offensive rebounds and put-backs to seal the deal.
It would be easy to lay some of the blame on the Hawks' continued free-throw woes --- they made only 17 of 32 on the night, including Josh Smith's 2-for-10 effort.
But their problems run deeper than that, particularly in the backcourt, where captain and All-Star Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby continue to struggle on offense.
While they average better than 37 points combined, they couldn't find the mark against the Knicks, combining for only 20 points. They shot 7-for-28 from the floor in the process.
NEXT FOR Hawks
* Who: vs. Nets
* When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
* TV; radio: SPSO; 790 AM