The Atlanta Hawks will live to fight another day when it comes to the pursuit of a 2016 Las Vegas Summer League Championship. Taylor Jenkins’ team picked up a first-round victory on Wednesday afternoon, outlasting the Sacramento Kings and advancing to the Round of 16 by a final score of 81-61.
Though the first half did not pass as exceptional basketball in an overall sense, it was a productive 20 minutes for the Hawks. Taurean Prince was the early star of the afternoon, scoring 11 points and grabbing four rebounds within his first nine minutes of action, and then, he paved the way for Edy Tavares.
The 7-foot-3 big man was excellent prior to halftime, leading the team with 12 points and six rebounds. Tavares was also quite active as a pick-and-roll threat, while presenting real energy and effectiveness in protecting the rim on the other end of the floor.
All told, Atlanta entered the halftime break with a 42-37 lead, and they did so despite shooting less than 40% from the floor and committing ten turnovers. Following that, it was smooth sailing.
The Hawks began the third quarter with back-to-back threes from Kevin Pangos and Brandon Ashley, and the team never looked back. Atlanta strung together an 18-6 run to begin the half that was highlighted by eight points from Prince, and from that point forward, the team led by double-figures for the lion’s share of the game.
Atlanta cruised to the finish line with a 20-point victory, and it didn’t feel that close. Taurean Prince led the way for the Hawks in finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes, while Edy Tavares (14 points, 9 rebounds), Brandon Ashley (10 points) and DeAndre Bembry (who happened to do this) put together quality efforts in the win.
The Hawks will take on the Washington Wizards at 4:00 pm ET on Thursday, and the winner of that contest will advance to the LVSL Quarterfinals. Stay tuned.