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John Collins enjoys career night, Taurean Prince goes down in loss to Warriors

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Not the best night at State Farm Arena...

Golden State Warriors v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks fell short on Monday night in their contest against the Golden State Warriors at State Farm Arena, falling 128-111 against the defending champions.

John Collins led the way with a career-high of 24 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds on the night. Trae Young scored 20 points but took 20 shots to get there in what was a tough night for the Eastern Conference Player of the Month.

For Golden State, as you’d imagine, their trio of Stephen Curry (30 points), Kevin Durant (28 points) and Klay Thompson (27 points) did the most damage for the Warriors last night in a game that the Hawks were never really in.

The Warriors never trailed in this one as they started off quickly out of the gates with a 12-4 run, never looking back after that. Once they extended the lead to double digits, the Hawks made a few runs to get the Warrior lead to under 10 points but Golden State always had a run in them to push it back up to 13-15 points. They were always in control of this one.

They were certainly helped in that department by the amount of turnovers the Hawks committed — 18 in total leading to 26 Warriors points, the first quarter yielding nine of those 18 turnovers and 13 of those turnover points.

The one fortunate spot for the Hawks with their turnovers in the first quarter is that they didn’t have a ton of live-ball turnovers but poor turnovers like this hurt all night long, as Prince throws a pass out of bounds:

Trae Young really struggled in the first quarter, three of his seven turnovers came in the opening frame as he tried to start the right way in setting up his teammates:

Young did get going in the second quarter in terms of scoring but the ‘Steph vs. Trae’ matchup was never really a thing once the game actually started.

The Hawks’ turnovers plagued them all night long and so did their three-point shooting. The Hawks shot 5-of-26 from distance for just 19%.

The Hawks haven’t been shy in jacking up threes but this was below their season average in attempts and to shoot them poorly is nothing new. Young went 0-of-5 from deep, Kent Bazemore (who only played 19 minutes last night) shot 1-of-4 and Vince Carter shot 0-of-3.

It was Taurean Prince who was the one Hawk who actually hit some threes from distance as he shot 3-of-6, but as he made his final three, he landed on the foot of Shaun Livingston and injured his left ankle:

Prince went straight back to the locker-room but the positive news was that the x-ray was negative but did not return to the game. His status is unclear for the Hawks’ next game on Wednesday and Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce wasn’t too happy with the no-call on Livingston.

Livingston was underneath him,” recalled Pierce of the incident. “He lands on Livingston’s foot. It should have been a foul, should’ve been a flagrant, and it didn’t get called. And we got a rolled ankle and it’s pretty swollen…they just missed the call and you know it’s frustrating because that’s a major point of emphasis in our league. I was telling KD (Kevin Durant) ‘I am fighting for guys like you.’

“It’s to protect shooters when they are shooting their shot. That’s the reason why it is in the rule book. To have it blatantly missed is annoying and frustrating because that’s why it is in there - to protect those guys. We are going to probably miss some time with TP (Taurean Prince) just looking at his ankle. You know it’s frustrating to not get the call, to not get the response, and to now not have TP-- who knows (how long) … it’s a swollen ankle right now.”

The frustration from Pierce is understandable, who also seems certain that Prince will miss some time, and that’s the likely outcome here.

With all of that misery from last night, one bright spot from last night’s wire-to-wire loss was John Collins, who enjoyed a career-high 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting.

The three-pointer hasn’t been falling for Collins so far this season and, with just the one attempt from the perimeter last night, most of Collins’ work was done at the rim.

Between cleaning up the second chance opportunities and being the recipient of a number of alley-oop passes, Collins was a force around the rim.

Here, he links up with Young on this alley-oop:

Here, Dedmon picks up the pieces from Kevin Huerter’s blocked three, makes the pass underneath to Collins, who still has a bit to do once he gets the ball, takes the bump and finishes the play with the score:

That wasn’t the easiest chance in the world and Pierce praised Collins’ ability to make a little something happen from not a lot of anything.

“...His effort, his activity--that’s probably the best word-- his activity around the basket offensively,” said Pierce of Collins. “You can get him the basketball, and he can make plays that aren’t really there just based on his talent. But, to have him out there, have that activity, you’re seeing double-doubles and still a lot of plays for him. Teams have to scheme when he’s on the court because of what he presents at the rim. I’m eager to see continued growth with John as we continue to expand his game and put him in different spots on the court. He continues to play consistent minutes, and it’s definitely great to have him back.”

A little bit further away from the rim this time, Collins hits this nice turnaround fadeaway shot near the baseline:

This is a really encouraging shot to see Collins hit and it was one of only a few attempts away from the rim but that’s where Collins stamped his authority in this game on the offensive end, taking advantage of the Warriors’ forced lineup change with Damian Jones forced to the sidelines.

“The lineup change for them changed things up a little bit,” said Collins postgame. Obviously, it allowed me to capitalize against a smaller lineup...”

Collins linked up a couple of times with another bright spot from last night’s game, Kevin Huerter. Huerter scored 10 points last night but it was his passing that was the most encouraging part of his game last night.

In a pick-and-roll with Collins, Huerter drives towards the rim before dropping a lovely pass to Collins to set him up for the dunk:

Again, Huerter and Collins set up in the pick-and-roll, this time Huerter rejects the screen, Collins makes a dive to the rim, Huerter finds him with a nice bounce-pass and Collins is somehow able to convert the hoop and draws the foul:

And...that about does it for bright spots in this game for the Hawks — few and far between in this one. As you’d probably expect in a wire-to-wire loss.

The Hawks (3-19) are back in action on Wednesday night when they take on the Washington Wizards at State Farm Arena.