The Hawks travelled to Cleveland for their final In-Season Tournament game this season barring a crazy sequence of events.
The early action in this game was pretty tight between both squads. Clint Capela certainly made his mark in the first quarter with eight points and three rebounds, two of them offensive. Bogdan Bogdanovic also continued his early season shooting streak, including on this walk-up triple here.
After one quarter, the Hawks led by a thin margin after an overturned last second halfcourt heave from Donovan Mitchell, 33-29.
The Hawks went on a mini run in the second quarter to lead 45-33 before a Cavaliers 8-0 response brought it back to a 4-point game. De’Andre Hunter had a strong start to the game, using aggressiveness to carve out space to score.
De'Andre Hunter gets the rebound, sets up the play, plays through contact and scores anyway. pic.twitter.com/Xx1j1DXH9n— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) November 29, 2023
Unfortunately, that was before picking up his third foul and sustaining an apparent hand injury on a defensive play midway through the second quarter.
At the point when Hunter checked out of the game, the Hawks held a 51-42 edge. But the Cavaliers quickly erased that, finishing the period on a 22-10 run to take a 64-61 lead into halftime. Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 13 points and five rebounds off the bench. Mitchell, on the other hand, had a game-high 17 points to give Cleveland the upper hand after 24 minutes.
Thankfully for the Hawks, Hunter emerged from the locker room to continue playing in the second half. Not so fortunate for the Hawks was Evan Mobley collecting rebounds left and right, which helped lead to an early 81-70 advantage in the third quarter for the Cavs.
It must be commended that Hunter continued to play through severe pain in his pinky finger.
The rest of the quarter was more of the same, with the Hawks lagging behind Cleveland and failing to find good offense. As a result, Atlanta trailed 102-90 after three quarters.
In the fourth, the Cavs didn’t let off the gas pedal. The Hawks were unable to mount any sort of late comeback. And so, the outcome was decided early with the Hawks’ deep bench players seeing out the final minutes of the game. Atlanta ultimately fell in defeat, 128-105.
Trae Young finished with 13 points and 10 assists in a tough shooting night and seven Hawks finished in double figures. But the real story was a non-existent second half offense and a porous perimeter defense throughout the game. Atlanta will look to get right in San Antonio against the Spurs on Thursday.