The Atlanta Hawks were back in action Sunday afternoon for some more pre-season work against the Oklahoma City Thunder and old friend Dennis Schroder.
Atlanta was without John Collins, Jeremy Lin, Justin Anderson, Daniel Hamilton and Dewayne Dedmon who are all recovering from various injuries.
The Hawks started off looking very good on both sides of the ball against a Thunder starting lineup without Russell Westbrook. Outside of Schroder, Oklahoma City was unable to get any shots to fall in the early going. Trae Young had some quick drives to the basket in the early going to get his day started and set up his bigs Alex Len and Miles Plumlee well.
Just before the second unit entered the game, Taurean Prince got on the board with this nice step back three pointer.
Then, DeAndre’ Bembry capped the quarter with an insane shot from mid court to give the Hawks a lead going into the second.
There wasn’t much going for the Hawks early on in the second quarter with the backups on the floor. Things finally got going again midway through the quarter with veteran Kent Bazemore setting up Miles Plumlee for an emphatic jam.
Jaylen Adams got some minutes late in the quarter and was refreshingly giving good effort on defense. On this next play, he was able to snatch the ball but missed the layup off the fast break.
Thankfully, Omari Spellman was on the spot to clean the glass.
Spellman had a pretty solid first half from a scoring and rebounding standpoint, but his defense will need some work moving forward.
At halftime, the Thunder held a slight 58-51 lead and the Hawks were playing pretty well, but unfortunately, the second half was a much different story.
Trae Young was good for his first stint of the third quarter knocking down two three pointers and getting the ball moving.
However, after Young left the game with around six minutes left, the Thunder went on a rampage. Steven Adams was virtually unstoppable in the paint against Miles Plumlee and Omari Spellman for the length of the game, but especially in the third quarter, it seemed as though Adams was just getting to every offensive board.
Paul George also began to get hot and Oklahoma City boosted their modest halftime lead to blowout proportions up 93-67 after three. All told, Atlanta was outscored by a 35-16 margin in the period and the combination of turnovers and overall inefficiency plagued the performance.
In the fourth quarter, OKC mercifully pulled their starters while the Hawks kept theirs in. Atlanta made a slight push but the game was never in doubt for the Thunder.
Alex Len got a chance to stay on the floor in the fourth and showed some promise.
In the end, it was the Hawks taking the loss in Tulsa after the road team was doomed by their third quarter play. Atlanta will be back in action Wednesday against the Spurs in their penultimate pre-season match.