The Hawks destroyed the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night with a final score of 98-75.
The game started slow, with the scoreboard showing 18-16 in Brooklyn’s favor after the first quarter. That changed in the second quarter, as DeMarre Carroll got hot and hit four 3-pointers in the period, including a buzzer-beater to close the half. Carroll outscored the Nets on his own in the quarter, tallying 14 points to Brooklyn’s 13. The 13 points were a season-low in a quarter for the Nets.
The third quarter played a little tighter, but the Hawks had already built up a 20-plus point lead. By the time the fourth quarter started, the Hawks were again firing on all cylinders and the Atlanta led grew to as many as 32. Dennis Schröder was the main guy leading the Hawks at this point, as he scored 11 points and grabbed three steals in the quarter before being taken out of the game. Schröder’s totals for the game were 13 points, five assists, and four steals.
By the end of the game, the Hawks had taken all of the regulars off of the floor and had a lineup of Shelvin Mack, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore, Elton Brand, and Mike Muscala on the floor. Can’t say we’ve seen a lot of that lineup this year, although if more situations like this arise, I think the Atlanta faithful will gladly enjoy that lineup.
Besides Carroll, Jeff Teague and Mike Scott also powered the Hawks in the deciding second quarter, scoring six and seven points, respectively. Kyle Korver also had four assists and four rebounds in the period, which weirdly enough, accounted for all of his assists and rebounds for the game.
Paul Millsap continued his streak of efficient offensive play, scoring 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Millsap also had nine rebounds and two assists, and he has shot over 50% in seven of the last 10 games.
Al Horford has his second straight game of less than 10 points, only notching seven points on 3-for-10 shooting in 23 minutes. Horford’s defense, which has been inconsistently lately, was good in this game and shows a lot to what the Hawks can do when Horford is playing well on that end of the floor.
Former Hawk Joe Johnson had a quiet game, scoring 12 points in just 29 minutes. Johnson has been very vocal in criticizing the Nets this season and a 23-point loss to his former team surely won’t pacify his anger.
Some other notes: the Hawks had more steals (12) than turnovers (10) in this game, with a few of those turnovers occurring late in the fourth quarter after the game had already been decided. Atlanta hit nine 3s in the first half and finished the game with 13 makes from behind the arc. They have now hit 10 or more 3s in their last four games. The Hawks are on a five-game win streak and are just two games back of the Toronto Raptors for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks play next at home against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday at 3:30.