After three straight home losses, the Atlanta Hawks entered Wednesday night as 10-point favorites and in need of a win over the Brooklyn Nets. 48 minutes later, that desire came to fruition, but the performance itself was lacking in what became a 110-105 victory.
The first quarter wasn’t particularly kind to Atlanta, with the visiting Nets shooting 50 percent in the period. The Hawks were very listless on the offensive end, outside of a barrage of Dennis Schröder production off the dribble, and that combination placed the home team in a hole.
Brooklyn then began the second quarter with five straight points, taking a nine-point lead at 32-23 and there were ominous signs everywhere. The Hawks did respond, scoring seven straight to knot the score at 39-39, but the first half belonged to Kenny Atkinson’s team.
Brooklyn shot just 5 of 17 from three to allow the Hawks to stay engaged, but the Nets led 50-46 at the halftime break. For Atlanta, Schröder was the lone bright spot with 17 points, but the offense scuffled throughout and it was a lackluster performance to say the least.
Things improved to begin the second half, including a 10-0 run from the Hawks that finally displayed some life. That push provided a seven-point lead for Atlanta at 72-65 but, in short order, the Nets climbed back into contention with a 14-4 spurt of their own. Offensively, it was a vastly improved product but, on the other end, defense remained optional and the Hawks led by a slim 81-80 margin as the fourth quarter arrived.
From there, Atlanta didn’t make it easy. The Hawks did open up a 100-93 lead with 3:11 left and, at that point, things appeared to be academic. On cue, Brooklyn slashed the lead down to two on a Caris LeVert three with 1:09 left. Then, Ersan Ilyasova and Brook Lopez traded baskets, with Lopez then blocking a Schröder shot attempt with 27 ticks remaining.
Thankfully for the Hawks, that was followed up with a turnover from Sean Kilpatrick and that set up two free throws from Schröder to effectively put the game away with 15.5 seconds left. Jeremy Lin put a scare into the assembled crowd with a three on the other end but, after two free throws from Tim Hardaway Jr., Lin’s last-stitch effort at a tie went begging to provide the final margin of victory.
Dennis Schröder led the way for the home team with 31 points on 10 of 21 shooting, with Paul Millsap adding 24 points and both Tim Hardaway Jr. (16 points) and Ersan Ilyasova (10 points, 7 rebounds) adding double-figures off the bench. The Hawks will complete this lengthy homestand on Friday with a match-up against the Toronto Raptors.