The Hawks are back in Atlanta after spending what seemed like an eternity on a road trip out west. The Nets are in town to begin the long home stand for the Hawks who are coming off their 11th win of the season against Denver.
The Hawks inactives for Friday’s game included only DeAndre’ Bembry, who will not play as he continues his rehab from a “left groin strain”.
The Hawks came out somewhat slow after the long road trip with Brooklyn beginning their nightly three-point assault quickly. The Hawks countered with some big three-pointers of their own from Malcolm Delaney and Isaiah Taylor later in the quarter and played some serviceable defense to close the quarter keeping things close at 25-all at the end of the first.
The second quarter opened with a Jahlil Okafor miniature offensive explosion and the Nets continued the onslaught with more three-pointers from Allen Crabbe, Joe Harris, and Quincy Acy. The Hawks would fight back with some good play from Dennis Schroder as well as Tyler Dorsey, who hit a three-pointer of his own. Dennis took over the quarter late for the Hawks and brought Atlanta into halftime in a tight one-possession game at 53-50.
The first few possessions after halftime were rough for both teams on the offensive end but things heated up as Spencer Dinwiddie and Schroder exchanged three-point blows. Schroder continued to score at will against a soft defensive effort from Dinwiddie and looked to be in complete control before foul trouble removed him from the court midway through the third. The Hawks closed the quarter with some nice defensive play and grinded with Brooklyn to a 76-76 tie at the end of three.
The fourth quarter started with a duel between John Collins and Jahlil Okafor, in which Okafor took advantage with six straight points for the Nets. Tyler Dorsey added another three-pointer and generally really played well in extended playing time against the Nets tonight. Dewayne Dedmon re-entered the game for the Hawks and made an immediate impact with back-to-back shots to keep the Hawks close. Schroder also re-entered and asserted his control for the Hawks as he went over the 30-point mark with three minutes left in the game. He continued to match every shot the Nets put up going over his career high 33 for the Hawks. The Nets re-took the lead for a moment with just over a minute remaining before Kent Bazemore took the lead back with two free throws on the other end. After a Schroder layup fell off the edge of the rim, Dinwiddie went coast to coast for an and-one opportunity with just 11 seconds left in the game. Dinwiddie missed the free throw but was able to get his own rebound and got fouled by the Hawks with nine ticks remaining. After making both free throws and with the Nets up three, the Hawks turned to Dennis Schroder who could not get the quick two to go and the Nets were able to steal the win.
Schroder was fantastic with 34 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds and Bazemore also contributed with 16 of his own to help pace the Hawks, but it simply was too little too late.
The Hawks will continue their home stand against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday at 3:00 for a MLK Day special. Stay tuned.