On Friday evening, the Atlanta Hawks took the floor in a preseason setting for the final time in advance of the 2018-19 season. 48 minutes later, the visiting team cemented a 2-3 record in the preseason, falling to the Miami Heat on the road by a final score of 119-113.
There were plenty of highlights to consume in the first half, including a beautiful chase-down block from Kent Bazemore.
Also in the first quarter, some levity arrived in the form of Jeremy Lin wearing the wrong shorts on to the floor.
Jeremy, which shorts are you wearing?! pic.twitter.com/9DnNACjojX— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) October 13, 2018
Ultimately, he was able to swap into the correct game attire and Lin also enjoyed himself before halftime, scoring 10 points on perfect shooting.
There was also plenty of ball movement for the visiting team, leading to a sterling offensive rating (114.3) in the first half and 66 points.
Trae Young’s passing was on full display yet again but he also connected from long range.
The Hawks excelled in transition prior to halftime, producing 39 points in the second quarter.
Four players reached double figures before halftime and, while the quality of play in the first quarter was lacking on both ends, Atlanta took a 13-point lead into the third quarter. With that said, the Hawks removed their starters, shutting them down for the evening, and that threw things into chaos for the final 24 minutes.
By the middle of the third quarter, Lloyd Pierce emptied the bench (including RJ Hunter and Thomas Robinson) and that allowed the Heat to dominate the proceedings. Miami won the third period by a score of 34-23 but, on the bright side, Jaylen Adams connected on a (very) long-distance three at the buzzer.
The closing period was one that didn’t feature many big names but Alex Poythress delivered a nice highlight with a denial at the rim.
Alex Poythress forced a jump ball in the best way possible. pic.twitter.com/51880Yeg4Y— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) October 13, 2018
Ultimately, the second half wasn’t kind to the Hawks on the scoreboard but every caveat should be applied as Miami deployed much of their rotation against Atlanta’s reserves. Eventually, the game settled as a narrow, six-point victory for the Heat (despite the Hawks climbing within one point on multiple occasions) and that was that.
In their final preseason action, Atlanta’s regulars largely performed well in this spot. Young finished with 11 points (4-9 FG, 2-3 from three), five assists and three rebounds in 16 minutes, while Len (14 points), Bazemore (13 points) and Lin (a team-high 20 points in more extended time) also put together strong performances.
The Hawks will open the regular season on Wednesday evening against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Stay tuned.