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Hawks eliminated from Summer League title contention with loss to Blazers

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A valiant effort.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks-Press Conference Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of the wild comeback on Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks entered Thursday evening’s contest against the Portland Trail Blazers with a guarantee of two more games in Las Vegas. However, the quest for the ever-important NBA Summer League title was on the line and the Hawks fell short by a final score of 95-69.

The weirdness of the night began before tip-off, when the Hawks announced that Trae Young (rest), Tyler Dorsey (right groin tightness) and Jaylen Adams (left ankle sprain) would join John Collins (rest) on the bench for this particular game. While Atlanta did have three roster players (Omari Spellman, Jaylen Morris and Antonius Cleveland) available, the simple reality of reduced interest was real and that has to be noted at the top.

Still, Chris Jent’s squad put forth a solid effort in the early going, despite allowing a 15-0 run at one point in the first quarter. Spellman was the centerpiece for Atlanta, scoring the first five points and continuing to fill it up throughout the first half.

For good measure, Spellman also dropped the hammer with an impressive baseline dunk.

All told, Spellman scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half, with Junior Robinson (!!) flanking him with eight points off the bench. Atlanta trailed by a seven-point margin after 20 minutes of play but, given the available talent and the shaky output during the aforementioned 15-point run from Portland, there was reason for mild optimism.

There were a few more highlights in the second half, including some play-making from the No. 30 overall pick.

And more shooting.

Unfortunately, the scoreboard didn’t cooperate, as the Blazers essentially put the game away with an 11-3 run to end the third quarter.

At the end of the night, Spellman finished with 20 points (on 7 of 16 shooting) and he was supported by Robinson (11 points), Robert Johnson (11 points) and Antonius Cleveland (11 points) as players in double figures.

Though it remains to be seen as to which players will be available for the Hawks, the team’s run in Las Vegas isn’t over yet, with a game awaiting them on Friday evening (at 10:30 pm ET) against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stay tuned.