The Atlanta Hawks will be involved in the "final four" for the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League. The Hawks outlasted the Dallas Mavericks by a final score of 91-83 on Saturday, and with the win, they are two victories away from a mythical championship.
The first half featured staggeringly competent play on both sides when compared to other Summer League action, and that was especially true of the Hawks. Terran Petteway was the star of the show in the first 20 minutes, hitting all six of his shots on the way to 13 first-half points. He was flanked by a 12-point effort from Brandon Ashley and some strong supporting play from Lamar Patterson, Glenn Robinson III (9 points each) and Mike Muscala (6 rebounds).
Defensively, Atlanta also did some strong work, especially in the second quarter. For the half, the Mavericks made only 33% of their shot attempts, and in the second quarter, that figure dwindled to just 21.7% (5-for-23). That combination of balanced offense and quality defense led the Hawks to a 46-39 advantage at the halftime break.
Following the break, the Hawks kept up their strong work offensively, making 10 of 14 shots from the floor in the third quarter. Petteway eventually missed after eight straight conversions to begin the game, but that was simply a hiccup in the team's third straight 20+-point quarter. That allowed Atlanta to hold a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and that advantage would prove to be enough of a cushion.
Of course, nothing is easy in Las Vegas (or something), as the Hawks built a 15-point lead that would dwindle over the course of the final period. Even in the midst of some cold shooting, Atlanta held off the charging Mavs, and a thunderous dunk from Mike Muscala proved to be the highlight of the evening.
This evening featured strong performances from a handful of players, and that is wildly encouraging. Glenn Robinson III was perhaps the most effective of Atlanta's wings, finishing with 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting, and the aforementioned Terran Petteway closed with 19 points on only 11 attempts. Brandon Ashley (19 points, 6-9 FG) and Lamar Patterson (16 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) also reached double figures, and that balance proved critical.
The Atlanta Hawks will continue their run in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, with a semifinal match-up against the San Antonio Spurs at 6:00 pm ET. Stay tuned.