UPDATE: The Hawks announced after the game that De’Andre Hunter suffered a dislocated right index finger.
After suffering a tenth consecutive loss on Saturday night in Houston, the Atlanta Hawks entered Monday night’s game in an odd place, operating as the betting favorite for the first time in 2019-20. Though the opening minutes were a little bit dicey, Lloyd Pierce’s team took care of business — with some help from the visiting Golden State Warriors — on the way to a 104-79 victory to stop the bleeding.
The early going was a bit sloppy on both ends, but Atlanta’s first bucket came from a former member of the Warriors in Damian Jones.
Damian starting things off right pic.twitter.com/c4Ps7nOp4n— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 3, 2019
The ugliness continued, with neither team cracking a 100 offensive rating in the first quarter. There were a few highlights for Atlanta, though, ranging from De’Andre Hunter attacking the rim to Alex Len throwing down a dunk after a pass from Trae Young.
Defensively, it was better for Atlanta (with a hat-tip to the Warriors offense) and Cam Reddish got in on the act with a quality rejection in transition.
Cam Reddish has his own lunch money and now he has yours, too. pic.twitter.com/L7XCABD7Jh— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) December 3, 2019
The Hawks trailed 23-20 at the end of the first quarter but the second period was far more encouraging for Atlanta. In the early going, Hunter did it on both ends, creating with his defense and scoring seven straight points to give the Hawks the lead.
DeAndre' defense ➡️➡️➡️➡️ Jabari JAM pic.twitter.com/2OeguU2evy— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) December 3, 2019
Later in the second quarter, the trio of Hunter, Young and Vince Carter connected on three-pointers to key a 12-2 run and, by halftime, the Hawks held a nine-point lead. Though it was anything but an offensive explosion, Atlanta took care of business defensively and, with 33 points combined from Young, Parker and Hunter at the half, there was enough of a cushion to feel positive.
The third quarter opened in favorable fashion for the Hawks and, ultimately, that 12-minute period would be the difference in the game. Atlanta used a 7-2 run to open up a 14-point lead and, later in the quarter, the Hawks went on a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach at 76-53.
In fact, the Warriors didn’t score for the final 4:21 of the quarter and the Hawks were making plays on both ends.
BET you didn't see that coming pic.twitter.com/d0M25os4wt— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 3, 2019
With the advantage at 23 points with 12 minutes remaining, the Hawks simply had to hold on and they were able to do just that. Golden State’s offense was slightly better than it was in the third quarter but Young and company were able to hold off any charge.
❄️ Ice Trae with the pass-fake freeze ❄️ pic.twitter.com/mkky5o09yt— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) December 3, 2019
Ultimately, the Hawks emerged with a 25-point win and it was a family affair in terms of positive contributions. Young (24 points, seven assists) and Hunter (18 points) led the way for Atlanta, with Jones (career-high 16 points and eight rebounds) providing an offensive punch and strong defensive/all-court showings from players like Reddish and Evan Turner.
The Hawks will return to the floor on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets at State Farm Arena, and they will be looking to turn one victory into a winning streak.