The Atlanta Hawks battled the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday evening in the first of two matchups between the teams over the next three days. Danilo Gallinari returned to the lineup, making he, Clint Capela and Rajon Rondo all available for Atlanta for the first time in the regular season.
The Nets ultimately outlasted the Hawks 145-141 in what was, predictably, a high scoring game. Atlanta started the game on 15-6 run, racing out to a lead. The offense was again clicking on all cylinders early, with the Hawks scoring 41 points in the opening period.
The Nets were however able to keep pace, clawing back into the contest. Atlanta led 41-38 heading to the second quarter.
The Hawks shot just 9-for-26 in the second period after a scorching first quarter, but still held the lead at the break. Atlanta and Brooklyn both shot 9-for-21 from three in what turned out to be a fast-paced first half. Bogdan Bogdanovic was rolling for Atlanta from deep throughout the night.
On the injury front, Gallinari did leave the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.
John Collins led the way for Atlanta with 16 points and six rebounds through two quarters, as the Hawks led 68-67 at halftime,
The third quarter was also fast-paced and closely contested, with the Hawks outscoring Brooklyn 36-35 in the period. Collins led all scorers with 22 points through three quarters, with Young not far behind with 20 points to go along with nine assists.
After letting the lead slip for a moment, a 9-1 run by the Hawks late in the third put them up 103-95 but the Nets were able to respond with a run of their own to close the quarter, and trailed just 104-102 heading to the final period.
The fourth quarter was much of the same out of the gate, plenty of points and not so much defense. With just under seven minutes to play, the two teams were tied at 120 points a piece. Kyrie Irving, who was just 3-for-16 to start play, caught fire in the fourth and hit a three to put the Nets up 130-126 with under five minutes to play.
The Nets were able to maintain the slim lead for the remainder, squeaking out the 145-141 win in the final minutes. The Hawks made it close late with a three from De’Andre Hunter, cutting it to 141-139 with 6.3 seconds remaining, but were unable to get any closer after a pair of free throws by Durant.
Collins and Young lead Atlanta scorers with 30 points each. Young shot 16 more free throws, making 14, continuing his torrid pace of getting to the charity stripe to start the season. He now has 62 free throw attempts through four games. The All-Star also had 11 assists and six rebounds in the loss.
Cam Reddish had 20 points on just 11 field goal attempts, going 8-for-10 from the free throw line. Bogdanovic had 22 points, going 6-for-11 from three-point range.
Durant led Brooklyn with 32 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the win. Irving got going late, finishing with 25 points, six assists and two steals.
The Hawks and Nets will face off again Friday evening in Brooklyn at 7:30 pm ET.