The Hawks got off to a slow start as the Nets jumped out to a 12-point lead midway through the first quarter. Brooklyn’s bench outscored Atlanta’s reserves 17-0 in the opening quarter and led 32-20.
Things didn’t get better for the Hawks in the second as the Nets continued to push the issue and the lead. Brooklyn went on a 31-7 run and pushed the lead to as many as 22 points in the second before the Hawks battled back.
Mike Budenholzer spent most of the first half searching for answers and a combination that could give his team a spark. He elected to go with a two point guard lineup with Dennis Schroder and Jose Calderon and the results were promising. Atlanta went on a 27-12 run to close the quarter thanks to some inspired play by Dwight Howard and Taurean Prince to cut the deficit to 55-48 at halftime.
Atlanta immediately cut the lead to five to start the third before the Nets regained their poise. Brooklyn pushed the lead back to as many as 15. Tim Hardaway Jr. beat the quarter buzzer to send the Hawks to the fourth down 78-68.
The fourth quarter was more of the same for Atlanta. They’d cut into the lead only to watch the Nets answer. The Hawks closed to within seven with just over six minutes remaining but the deficit was too much as Brooklyn cruised home for the victory.
Schroder led Atlanta with 24 points and eight assists. Taurean Prince played well in his first start finishing with 17. Dwight Howard was dominant inside once again finishing with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Ersan Ilyasova added nine points and 18 rebounds of his own.
Second chance points kept the Hawks in the game as they outscored Brooklyn 30-13. Atlanta finished with a 58-50 advantage on the boards but couldn’t overcome their shooting woes. The Hawks finished the game at 35 percent shooting and were just 19 of 32 from the free throw line.
The loss is Atlanta’s seventh straight and drops their overall record to 37-36. They are back at home on Tuesday when they face the Phoenix Suns.