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Balanced attack keys Hawks in 141-118 win over Nets

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night coming off a loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. With Kyrie Irving done for the season, the Nets came into play losing their last two games and at risking of sliding into a tie for the 7-seed with the Magic with another loss.

John Collins was rolling out of the gates for the Hawks, scoring 12 out of the first 16 points for the club. Taurean Prince scored seven early for Brooklyn, helping the Nets get out to a slim lead early. The Nets led 17-16 at the 6:36 mark in the first quarter.

The Nets powered on a 15-2 run to take an 13-point lead inside the 4:00 minute mark in the first. Atlanta fired back with an 11-0 run late in the quarter to get back within two.

The Nets closed the quarter on a 5-0 run however and led 36-29 heading to the second. Collins led the way with 14 points, with Trae Young adding two points and seven assists.

The Hawks tied the score at 50 around the 5:00 mark in the second with a 9-0 run, started by back-to-back threes from Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter, then Young gave them the lead with a three-point play.

The run extended to 13-0 after free throws from Young and Collins. The Nets stopped the bleeding, however, and trailed by just six at the break. Hawks 68, Nets 62 at the break.

Collins led all scorers with 22 points at the break, with Young adding nine points and nine assists. Garrett Temple led Brooklyn with 14 points.

Atlanta scored eleven points in the first 2:19 of the second half, prompting a quick timeout from Nets coach Kenny Atkinson.

The Hawks extended their lead to 14 with Reddish’s fourth three-pointer of the evening at the 8:00 mark.

The Nets were unable to get back within in reach in the third due to the Hawks red-hot outside shooting. Reddish had four threes and 17 points in the quarter himself. The Hawks scored 40 points in the period, with Brooklyn scoring 35. Hawks lead 108-98 heading to the fourth.

The Hawks extended their lead to 15 into the middle of the fourth as the Nets went ice cold offensively, scoring only six points in the first six minutes of the quarter. The Hawks maintained the margin for the final minutes of play, with the Nets not particularly clicking on either end of the floor in the final period.

It was a banner performance for Collins, who has been an absolute machine of late. The third-year big is currently playing the best basketball of his career.

Collins (33 points and 13 rebounds) and Reddish (career-high 26 points, 6-of-9 from three) led the way offensively for the Hawks in the win, with Young controlling the tempo to the tune of 22 points and 14 assists. De’Andre Hunter tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds on 4-of-8 shooting from three, while Huerter added 15 points on 6-of-10 from the floor.

The Hawks will be back in action at home on Saturday night against the Damian Lillard-less Portland Trail Blazers.