The Atlanta Hawks defeated two Texas teams within the same week with a 100-86 win over the Spurs on Wednesday and an ugly 91-84 win over the Mavericks on Friday. Jeff Teague (ankle) and Paul Milsap both sat out this game, which thrust Dennis Schröder and Tiago Splitter into the starting lineup. Schröder finished with 11 points (nine coming in the second half) and four assist, while Splitter finished with just two points and four rebounds. Al Horford led all Hawks with 16 points, shooting 50% from the field with five rebounds and a plus-8 rating.
The Mavericks were led by former Hawk John Jenkins as he totaled 16 points while shooting 67% from the field. Both teams struggled from the field shooting 36%, and that corresponded with 11 lead changes. The Hawks’ advantage in this one was not only their 83% free throw shooting (compared to Dallas’ 76%), but also a positive showing from several bench players like: Thabo Sefolosha (nine points, 2-for-2 FGs) Mike Muscala (seven points, 3-for-6 FGs), Lamar Patterson (10 points and two steals) and Shelvin Mack (13 points and four assists).
Mack started the game 0-for-3 but heated up, hitting several jumpers in a row to help the Hawks erase a deficit. Holiday continues to struggle from the field, shooting just 1-for-6 for six points, but also continues to look sharp defensively. Rookie Justin Anderson showed to be somewhat of a bright spot for the Mavs off the bench, scoring 12 points and dishing out four assist, but he was forced into four turnovers as well.
Hawks Rookie Edy Tavares also played well converting a couple dunks, scoring eight points and defensively making his presence known by altering shots and blocking two shots. Tim Hardaway Jr. was far from a bright spot for the hawks going 0-for-8 from the field with one turnover with several of those shots being good looks at the rim. The Hardaway experience has not looked good so far as he has struggled much of this preseason trying to find his rhythm. Hardaway is shooting a total 6-for-25 from the field and just 19% from beyond the arc in the preseason.
Dirk Nowitzki made his preseason debut in limited action, picking up two quick fouls early in the first quarter. Nowitzki ended with just six points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes played. The Hawks have a day off before they face division foe Miami at Phillips Arena Sunday at 7 PM. The Heat are currently 1-3 in preseason and coming off a 95-92 loss to the Orlando Magic.
Highlights by Jake Martinsek. Follow @IAmMartinsek and @eyeboah5 on Twitter.