Prior to tip-off on Friday evening in Las Vegas, word broke that the Atlanta Hawks would be without number 12 overall pick Taurean Prince for the team’s game against the Houston Rockets. However, the Hawks were able to survive that absence, as Atlanta kicked off its 2016 Summer League slate with a 83-78 win.
Atlanta began the game in a 17-9 hole and, through the first quarter, there wasn’t a great deal of positive momentum. The Hawks made just 25% of their shots in the first 10 minutes and with only 1-of-7 from three, the offense sputtered as Houston produced on the other end.
From there, though, the mojo began to shift, as the Hawks used a 12-4 run to begin the second quarter to largely erase the deficit. Atlanta entered the half in a 7-point hole, but Bryce Cotton was impressive with eight points on only four shots prior to halftime, and DeAndre Bembry added a highlight-reel dunk in the closing minute of the second quarter.
The third quarter was the biggest impetus in Atlanta’s win? and much of the damage came from beyond the arc. The Hawks outscored the Rockets by a 26-12 margin the third period, raining threes from players like Cotton and Isaia Cordiner, and that was enough to give Taylor Jenkins’ team the cushion needed to preserve a win.
Houston would fight valiantly down the stretch, but Atlanta was able to hold off a late charge. In the end, it was a strong start to the Las Vegas slate.
In terms of individual performance, three members of the Hawks cracked double-figures in scoring, led by Kevin Pangos with 16 points on only eight shots. Bembry was perhaps the best overall player for Atlanta given his all-court showing (14 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds, etc.) but Cotton was a bright spot as well and Tavares flashed some of his defensive and rebounding upside. Finally, Lamar Patterson presented the steady nature that Atlanta is undoubtedly seeking with his presence in Las Vegas, and he kicked off his third Las Vegas stint with six assists and three rebounds on the night.
The Hawks will take the floor next on Sunday afternoon, with a game against the Washington Wizards at 4:00 pm ET. Stay tuned.