The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets fought it out in a high scoring affair Wednesday night, with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Nets eventually taking the 145-141 win. Durant was spectacular, scoring 33 points to go along with a near triple-double performance.
The Hawks were rolling offensively in their own right, but just weren’t able to secure enough stops to win the game. Trae Young had 30 points and 11 assists, while John Collins also had 30 points in a double-double outing.
On Friday, Atlanta will be without Rajon Rondo (knee soreness) and Danilo Gallinari (right ankle sprain) for the rematch. With another game coming up on Saturday, this could just be rest for Rondo, however, Gallinari did leave Wednesday night’s game early with a right ankle injury. Kris Dunn, Onyeka Okongwu and Tony Snell remain out.
Young is listed as probable (right calf soreness) and De’Andre Hunter is questionable with right knee soreness.
The Hawks will look to move to 4-1 on Friday in what has been one of the more exciting starts for the team in recent memory. Young looks like an All-NBA candidate, and the rest of the team is clicking around him in a way it never has.
The Nets however may be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference title, even after the loss of starting shooting guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Their offensive attack around Durant, Irving, and shooters like Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Landry Shamet make their offense nearly impossible to slow down.
Atlanta will look to shore up the defense the second time around, though there’s not much one can do once guys like Durant and Irving get going. It very well may be another fast-paced game, as neither team profiles as a defensive juggernaut capable of slowing down the offensive superstars on the opposing side.
Hunter and Cam Reddish will likely again be tasked with trying to slow down Irving, while Reddish could also again see time on Kevin Durant like he did Wednesday. Collins also saw Durant a little bit, striping him on the way to the rim on one of his drives. After giving up 145 points Wednesday, it’s obviously likely Lloyd Pierce & Co. make some sort adjustment in how they defend the Nets.
Through four games, the Hawks lead the NBA in points per game with 128.8, while the Nets are third averaging 121.6 points per contest. Atlanta also leads the NBA in offensive rating, with Brooklyn ranking fourth in that category.
Following the game in Brooklyn Friday, the Hawks travel back to Atlanta for a matchup with the Cleveland Cavs to complete the back-to-back on Saturday evening.
Game Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 1, 7:30 pm ET
Location: Barclays Center
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)