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Hawks hammer Thunder for seventh straight win, 116-93

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NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks entered Thursday night’s tilt against the Oklahoma City on a six-game winning streak and with the expectation to extend that positive run against an inferior opponent. In pleasing fashion, the Hawks dominated the proceedings, leading by double figures for the vast majority of the evening, and Atlanta won its seventh straight contest by a final score of 116-93.

Atlanta took control from the opening tip, racing to a 19-6 run. The Hawks scored 12 straight points, and Trae Young had it going as both a scorer and a passer. Young made his first three jumpers, setting the tone for what was to come.

Young also found John Collins on a gorgeous, off-the-backboard lob in transition.

Atlanta then pushed its run to 25-8 at the outset, with the Thunder missing 12 of their first 15 shots overall and their first ten attempts inside the three-point arc. Even with Oklahoma City (mildly) waking up, the Hawks took a 10-point lead into the break between the first and second quarters, shooting 59 percent along the way.

Most of the second quarter was an exercise in back-and-forth basketball, but there were some key flashes from Bogdan Bogdanovic. The veteran wing scored 10 points in the first half and seemed comfortable on the ball.

The Hawks saved another spurt for the end of the second quarter, outscoring the Thunder by a 12-2 margin to take a 22-point lead. Atlanta then settled in with a 20-point halftime advantage, holding the Thunder to just 7-of-26 shooting on two-pointers. Young led the way with 17 points and seven assists, with Collins adding 13 points in the opening half.

After halftime, Young kept his dominance going, blowing by the Thunder defense to the rim with ease.

Atlanta pushed its lead to 24 in a hurry, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder did have a counterpunch coming. Oklahoma City scored seven straight to stay in (relative) striking distance, but the Hawks — almost on cue — rattled off a 12-2 run of their own to take a 27-point lead late in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was largely uneventful, with the Thunder never making a full-fledged push. There was one major highlight, however, and it was Nathan Knight generating yet another big dunk.

Ultimately, the Hawks were able to rest key players — including Young for the final 15 minutes — and still secure a 23-point victory.

Young was fantastic, scoring 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and dishing out nine assists in only 25 minutes. Collins added 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, performing well on both ends. Finally, Bogdanovic put together an impressive 23-point effort (including five three-pointers), setting a new season high for scoring and playing his best basketball since returning from injury.

The Hawks will now begin a grueling, eight-game road trip with a visit to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Saturday afternoon.

Stay tuned.