On the heels of a big loss against the defending champs on Monday night, the Atlanta Hawks welcomed a John Wall-less Washington Wizards squad into State Farm Arena on Wednesday night for Game No. 25 of the 2018-19 season. Despite a third quarter rally for the ages, the Hawks dug themselves into such a large hole in the first half that they were unable to fully recover, eventually going down by a final score of 131-117.
Tonight’s game began with some inspiring play from the Hawks’ big men, who really carried the team through the opening minutes. The Wizards came out firing on all cylinders against what has been a lackluster Hawks squad of late. The five-win Atlanta squad gave a solid effort but the star power that Washington has in Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. was simply too much for the young Hawks to handle as they took a 33-25 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter began with the Hawks imploding offensively and they weren’t really able to recover from it in the latter half of the quarter. Beal continued on his offensive tear in the second as the Wizards just buried the Hawks with three-pointer after three-pointer, including contributions from both Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre from beyond the arc. In the end Washington posted a 39-point period and the Hawks had their work cut out for them at the break down by 23.
Atlanta finally began to show some life at the start of the second half thanks to some better play from Kent Bazemore, who steadily continues to play well in each game.
Baze takin' cookies and handing out posters pic.twitter.com/vPfWILGicC— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 6, 2018
The Hawks really began to put it together late in the third quarter, when they were able to put together a stellar 19-5 run to cut the lead to just nine points going into the fourth quarter. DeAndre’ Bembry was a huge cog in this run for the Hawks as his defense continues to be invaluable to the team as seen below.
LIKE I WAS SAYING ... DEANDRE' BRINGS IT pic.twitter.com/hVP367janU— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) December 6, 2018
All in all when the quarter was done Atlanta had scored 45 points on 67 percent shooting overall, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. The Wizards cowered in fear with just a 103-94 advantage going into the final frame. Atlanta’s 45-point third quarter was the highest-scoring quarter for the Hawks since 2004.
Atlanta continued to chip away, but the Wizards went back to their bread and butter in Beal and were able to get the lead back to double digits midway through the quarter. Unfortunately, the Hawks were unable to get any closer, but they really should be commended for making it a game at all after their dreadful start.
John Collins was the leading scorer on the night with a career-high 26 points — his second straight game setting a career high in points — to go along with 14 rebounds, Kent Bazemore chipped in 22 points and 6 assists, while Trae Young added 14 points of his own to go with 6 assists.
The Hawks will be back in action on Saturday after a two-day break to face the Nuggets at State Farm Arena. Stay tuned.