Less than two hours before tip-off on Friday evening, word broke that No. 4 overall pick De’Andre Hunter would not be making a triumphant return to NBA Summer League for the Atlanta Hawks’ final contest. Alas, the game still transpired and the end result was a victory by the final score of 80-72.
Hunter was joined on the sideline by No. 34 pick Bruno Fernando (elbow) and Jordan Sibert (Achilles), leaving the Hawks short-handed in this spot. Still, Atlanta put together a strong effort and it began early, with an 18-7 lead buoyed by a barrage of threes.
Though the lead was trimmed to 24-16 at the end of the first quarter, the onslaught was coming, as the Hawks outscored the Spurs by a 26-10 margin in the second period. That allowed Atlanta to take a 22-point edge into halftime, keyed by 10 points each from Jaylen Adams and Sedrick Barefield, and that margin was enough to secure the victory.
Things got perilous during the second half though, with the Spurs rattling off a 17-2 run to slash a 20-point margin to only five. Atlanta did manage to weather the storm, pushing the lead back to double-digits and that, as they say, was that.
Nick Ward (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Matt Mooney (17 points, 3 of 5 from three) led five players in double figures for the Hawks, playing well throughout the night. They were joined by Charlie Brown (10 points), Barefield (12 points) and Adams (10 points) with double-digit production, and Atlanta managed to pull off a victory despite 34 percent shooting as a team.
With the action in Las Vegas complete from a Hawks standpoint, the countdown begins to training camp and preseason. Stay tuned throughout the summer for all the latest, including a deeper look at the finale that will arrive on Saturday morning.